This Week’s NYC Happenings: THE LCL, Output, Village Pourhouse

Greenmarket Cocktailing at the Just-Opened THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen
The Gerber Group of Stone Rose and Whiskey Blue fame opens its first NYC restaurant: THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen, which holds down the lobby of the Westin Grand Central with a versatile bar, lounge, and dining room space. You will drink well, whether its Stumptown at breakfast, Organic Avenue at lunch, or a biodynamic wine for dinner. Enjoy multiple trends at once with farm-to-bar cocktails, rocking cold-pressed juice, organic booze, and greenmarket add-ons. On the dining side, look for elevated comfort food like Pat LaFrieda burgers and New York cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese.
THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen (212 E. 42nd St., Midtown East) opens today. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

NOW: Beats For Billyburg
The team behind Cielo deliver the first proper dance club in Brooklyn with the opening of Output. Funktion-One covers a killer sound system, and global DJ talent provides the beats.
Output (74 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg) is open now. To learn more about the club, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

WEDNESDAY: Beer & Kisses
All gender clichés aside, a night of beer, cherries, and chocolate makes both halves of a date happy. This Wednesday, Village Pourhouse hosts a beer sommelier for flights and pairings. You’ll also get take-home notes, should you want to put anything to work on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate and Cherry Beer Tasting at Village Pourhouse (64 Third Ave., East Village) starts Wednesday night at 7pm, repeated the following Wednesday. Tickets are $40. To learn more about the bar, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Find out first about the latest openings and events in NYC by signing up for BlackBook Happenings, the email brought right to your inbox every Monday. And download the BlackBook City Guides app for iPhone and Android.

Gerber Group Celebrates 20 Years @ Stone Rose NYC

Last night, co-founder of the Gerber Group Scott Gerber welcomed a few hundred friends and fans to the Stone Rose Lounge in New York’s Time Warner Center for a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary.

Founded by brothers Scott and Rande when they were a real estate investor and a working model with a penchant for nightlife respectively, the company has grown to include more than 20 different nightlife concepts, from chilled-out lounge spaces to poolside bars. Their longstanding relationship with the W Hotel Group has made their bars a favorite of many business travelers.

When asked what he thought was the secret of their success, Gerber immediately singled out their emphasis on service. Regular spot-checks are made at all their venues by higher-ups in the company, who look for everything from the warmth and presentation of individual staff members to tiny, almost unnoticeable details: Cocktails are always presented with a napkin, and beer bottles are always presented with the label out, for instance. We observed over the course of the night that even in the frenzy of a bar packed three-deep, the Stone Rose staff did in fact stick to these rules.

It was far from a working evening, however—the corner stage that’s seen everything from a DJ booth to a jazz trio hosted Fitz and the Tantrums for a short, lively set, and a staffer protected his laptop from spilled drinks all night long in order to Twitter live from the crowd; we said hi and got a response within seconds. With that level of commitment to responsiveness and a willingness to prioritize new trends along with classic, consistent service, we’re confident they can look forward to another 20 successful years.

Juniper-Hater Patton Oswalt Gets the Gin Treatment at Stone Rose

Though he mines his curmudgeonly side for comedy gold, when he’s not performing, Patton Oswalt goes out of his way to be a nice guy. It’s nearly 9:00 p.m. and he’s just finished an arduous day of shooting a dark bromance called Scoutmasters, but the “former wedding deejay from Northern Virginia,” according to his Twitter account, is all smiles and great-to-meet-yous as he enters the elegant and futuristic Stone Rose lounge in New York, the kind of bar Jane Jetson would have frequented before settling down in Orbit City.

He’s got a galaxy’s worth of projects in the works, from a new comedy album based on his recent Showtime special, Finest Hour, to the upcoming Young Adult (out December 9), in which Oswalt plays a former high school classmate of teen lit writer Mavis Gary (played by Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) in a Diablo Cody–scripted, Jason Reitman–directed story about whether it’s possible to go home again. Still, Oswalt seems sincerely happy to have this opportunity to taste gin-based cocktails, despite his admission that gin really isn’t his thing. Fortunately, his juniper-averse palate is in the capable hands of mixologist Oana Kovacs, a Romanian beauty whose deft touch behind the bar can dress up the embattled spirit for just about any taste. Over the course of the evening, Oswalt has us all laughing at his reactions, which veer from the literal to the literary to the downright weird. For one night, at least, Gin Lane had nothing on 10 Columbus Circle.

Cocktail #1: Gin Blossom Muddle 5 slices of cucumber, 1 oz. elder ower syrup, and 1 oz. cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top off with club soda and garnish with a cucumber slice. “I like how it smells like the water they give you in health spas, with cucumber and lemon. Fill a pitcher with this in a spa and people would get wasted. I’d definitely give this one the thumbs up, because I cannot taste the gin at all. This is probably the last mixed drink Truman Capote had before he stopped pretending to be genteel and started drinking gin right out of the bottle. That’s all I’m going to have of that one. I am being a responsible actor. I’d like that in the article, please. I can’t show up on set with my liver hanging out of my mouth.”

Cocktail #2: Grapefruit Basil Martini Combine in an ice-filled cocktail shaker: 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, 3 large basil leaves (torn). Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a basil leaf. “This just tastes like grapefruit juice and basil. The fruity taste makes it kind of stingy, which is what hides the gin, but the basil makes it seem like you’re drinking a cold aperitif. It’s almost entering boozy gazpacho territory, which is a good thing. It’s a kiddie pool full of sunshine, but at the bottom there’s a fistfight waiting. So far, boom boom. Nicely done, Stone Rose.”

Cocktail #3: Eastsider Muddle 5 mint leaves, 3 wedges of lime, and ½ oz. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ¾ oz. Plymouth Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. “Dammit, it’s a mojito with the guhhhh taken out. Me likey. My favorite so far. The Eastsider’s great because it comes with its own trust fund and ironic T-shirt.”

Cocktail #4: Grapefruit Tonic Combine in an ice- lled highball glass: 2 oz. Tanqueray Gin, splash of grapefruit juice. Fill with tonic and float with 3 shakes of grapefruit bitters. Garnish with a grapefruit slice. “This is like that bar scene at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only instead of doing shots, we’re drinking these amazingly constructed cocktails. We’re going to drink a giant Mongolian under the table. Okay, this is the one where I can taste the gin. The grapefruit bitters and the gin are fighting to make me put it down. They’re saying, ‘You don’t want this, kid. Go back to the Eastsider.’ This is what the husband instructs the bartender to make for his trophy wife to piss her off when they’re fighting at the yachting regatta.”

Cocktail #5: Classic Negroni Combine in an ice- lled cocktail shaker: 1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin, ¾oz. Aperol, ¼ oz. Lillet. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist. “Too much goddamn gin. The bitters just enhance the gin for me, man. It’s like I can taste the chemical process and it bums me out. It tastes like it’s pissed off that I’m drinking it. ‘Let someone cooler drink this, not you.’”

Cocktail #6: Blackberry Bomb Muddle 3-4 blackberries and ¾ oz. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top off with a splash of club soda. “I feel like I’m drinking a Russian short story. It’s very moody. It’s like, ‘I’ll get you drunk or not, but we’ll all be dead soon, so who gives a shit.’ The protagonist in an H.P. Lovecraft story would drink this. Does that make sense? No, it doesn’t.”

Halloween at Stone Rose NYC

We assume you’re already deep into your Halloween planning. What comical yet topical costume idea have you chosen to embrace this year, you clever little minx? Let’s hope it involves smeary makeup and/or stifling latex. Regardless, as always, it doesn’t really matter so much who you are as much as where you are, and one stellar where-to-be this ‘Ween will be New York’s Stone Rose.

It’s a pretty straightforward proposal – the Stone Rose is clubbing out for the night, with 5 DJs for 5 hours, “costume preferred,” from 10pm to 3am. And of course, should you choose to venue-hop, other prominently enjoyable Gerber Group properties are also sporting Access Perks for happy users of our very own BlackBook Guide for iPhone. Check out a special $10 Guava Sin cocktail at Whiskey Park, $5 Shots of Herradura Silver (Sunday-Thursday only, sorry) at Underbar, and 15% tequila and whiskey flights at LEX Bar. Treat, trick, take your pleasure. RSVP to {encode=”” title=””}.

An Interview with Gerber Group’s Mystery Man, Scott Gerber

A few years back, when I was a partner in SLDesign, I had the pleasure of working with Scott and Rande Gerber, who hired us to work on their rooftop at the W Hotel Buckhead. Rande Gerber is, of course, that former ex-model who is married to Cindy Crawford and is the face of such brands as the Whiskey, Whiskey Blue, Whiskey Sky, Whiskey Park, Whiskey Bar and Grill, Wetbar, Underbar…you get the idea. He also heads up those Stone Rose joints. With somewhere near 30 properties worldwide, Gerber Group is one of the world’s top hospitality brands.

The Gerber group just opened three new venues in the new W Santiago and a Stone Rose Bar and Grill at the JFK Delta terminal. They also offer the midnight bar collection, which is a complete line of seven essential cocktail mixers “made with all the finest all natural ingredients.” With all these amazing achievements and projected developments, Rande Gerber and the Gerber group are household names. However, my Chihuahua has almost as much name recognition as Rande’s brother and partner Scott Gerber.

A google search of his name took me to a ton of Rande links. But Scott Gerber is responsible for directing all of the business operations, including new business development, negotiating partnerships, liaison with property owners, overseeing management and coordinating construction of the properties. He is a gentleman and a scholar with a BS in finance from the University of Arizona. I caught up with Scott yesterday and shot him a couple of questions. He’s a very busy guy.

I googled you and found practically nothing. It basically just refers people to your brother Rande or the Gerber group. Why do you prefer being in the background? It’s much safer that way. [Laughs]. I run the business end of the business. Rande is more involved with the design and aesthetic.

We all know that Rande is much more than just a pretty face. Is there a clear separation of duties? Yes, there’s a clear delineation. Rande wouldn’t get involved with the day-to-day operations.

How many places are you operating and how many more are in the works? We operate 30 properties and we’re having conversations about 10 more. Probably we’ll start up 5 of these this year.

This JFK Stone Rose Bar and Grill fascinates me. Nowhere in my experience is food and service worse than at an airport. I guess that’s changing. Tell me about your synergy with Delta. Our midnight bar collection is being served on Delta flights. Instead of just getting a little bottle and a mixer we make margaritas and cosmos. We teamed with Delta on this and it’s an in-flight revolution. I travel every other week and I know what has been available to a traveler. Were often waiting for a plane for one, two or even five hours. At Stone Rose we have a full bar and menu so you have a relaxed and stylish spot while you are waiting. Our menu gives you a great sandwich or steak and a variety of bites like buffalo mozzarella salad, buffalo wings. Much more than the typical traveling fare.

I guess with increased security we are all forced to spend more time in the airports waiting. Did that extra time factor into your decision to open an airport location? Of course. Travelers are told to be there two hours before their flight. Everyone comes at least one hour early. We wanted to provide something besides the cheesy places that are currently the norm. You can now get a great drink and food while you wait for your plane. Delta asked us to get involved as they try to take their brand more upscale. They even have David Barton exercise facilities at their terminal at JFK.

As hospitality drives the major hotel chains, the Gerber group is the big kid on the block. The Stone Rose in JFK raises the bar and creates a whole new market for food and beverage brands. I’m sure that very soon other hospitality groups will get into the act. Will it be long before we see Pure at the Las Vegas airport? Or Tao, LAX? How about La Esquina, LaGuardia? Customers want things the way they want them, and that means everywhere. They want Whole Foods not Met Foods. They want high end design and style in their boutique hotel, not just in the room, but in the clubs and restaurants that bring the beautiful locals to them. Luxury, boutique brands, with increasingly enhanced amenities, will be available to them wherever they go. Thank god I have a place to hang and eat at JFK. The Delta brand means something more to me today than it did the last time I traveled. What a great idea. If I ever find myself in Santiago, Chile, maybe visiting my friend Lindsey Risk, I’ll stay at The W and visit the Gerber Group’s Whiskey Blue, W Lounge and Red 2 One. I know I can expect high design, great service and an understanding of my needs.

New York: Top 10 Places to Get Devoured by a Cougar

Growing up, my friends had very traditional pets: dogs, cats, Tamagotchis. My family, being the eccentrics that they are (re: immigrants) made sure that my brother and I had something a little more fierce to play with. Our pet cougar loved us for ten passionate years before his unfortunate death at the hands of a demented hunter. My mother, saint that she is, told her distraught sons that our dead cougar was going to “cougar heaven,” a place where “cougars roamed free and never went hungry.” Little did I know she was talking about New York City.

Stone Rose Lounge (Midtown West) – NY’s reigning cougar sanctuary, where newbie Time Warner suits come to get served. Owner’s wife is Cougar Ultima Cindy Crawford. And the fact that I just referred to Cindy Crawford as a cougar makes me feel pruney. ● Nikki Beach A cougar oasis, if you will. No small coincidence that the first cougar I tamed was also named Nikki Beach (she was an amateur porn star). This is where you go to get your tiki torched. ● Geisha (Upper East Side) – Gogougar describes a geisha as a “subservient breed of cougar, and, as a result, a species that doesn’t totally subscribe to the whole Cougar ethic. She’s more interested in pleasing you, than she is in pleasing herself.” We describe it as a posh Japanese restaurant on the Upper East Side in which to get picked up by cougars. ● Bemelmans (Upper East Side) – The great thing about this Carlyle hideaway is that only the rich drink here. The great thing about cougars is that money is irrelevant to them. The great thing about divorces is that they breed cougars. You do the math. ● Cabanas at the Maritime (Meatpacking District) – Cougars love meat and they travel in packs, so the fact that you’ll find them in the Meatpacking District is self-explanatory. And the fact that this island-themed bar resides in a hotel is just lucky. ● 123 Burger Shot Beer (Midtown West) – The opposite of fancy, and that includes the women. Anyone who’s been here knows this place should be renamed 1234 Burger Shot Beer Cougar. ● STK (Meatpacking District) – From Yelp: “The bartenders were nice, and as I was facing them while stuffing my face, we were able to exchange knowing looks when the cougar beside me would lift her breasts and heave them onto the bar while the light reflected on her almost-plastic brown skin as she ordered a dirty, dirty martini.” So yeah. ● Plunge (Meatpacking District) – In the penthouse of the Hotel Gansevoort, Plunge has been code-named “Cougar Central” by, well, me. It’s not very creative, I know, but in terms of accuracy, it can’t be beat. Helpful hint: The pool is off-limits unless you or your cougar are guests. ● Rodeo Bar (Kips Bay) – Question: What is the only thing more cougar than Texas? Answer: A vaguely Texas-themed bar in New York. ● Schiller’s (Lower East Side) – A cougar’s weakness is your strength — it’s called cheap red wine, and this place bleeds it.

See also: Miami cougar dens.
Washington State Cougars Tickets Maples Pavilion Tickets Stanford Tickets

Holiday Gift Guide: Buy a Fella a Drink, Miu Miu Goth-Punk Belt

BlackBook’s Holiday Gift Guide presents two gift picks per day through December 19. One comes from our very own store; the other from the world at large. Suggestions? Let us know.

For a gift that most any cash-strapped, bar-hopping friend would appreciate, go to Buy Your Friend a Belvedere and purchase cocktails or bottles that recipients can then redeem at a nationwide network of bars and clubs, including Randy Gerber’s Stone Rose and Justin Timberlake’s Southern Hospitality.


It’s punk and a side of gothic-chic with Miu Miu’s patent leather metal accented belt ($118).

Industry Insiders: Rande Gerber, Lounge Wizard

Do a Google image search of Rande Gerber, and you’d be hard pressed to find a photo of him that doesn’t include his supermodel wife Cindy Crawford. Gerber is a tabloid fixture thanks to his famous wife and famous friends (think George, Brad, Matt), but guess what. He also owns bars. A lot of them. He’s the self-described creator of the lounge concept, his Whiskey brand a permanent guest in hotels all over the country. Here he talks about his start in the business, his Vegas hotel with George that almost was, and why being famous can’t hurt (that much).

Point of Origin: Well, it started in about 1990. I was actually working in commercial real estate in New York City. And I was representing Ian Schrager and the Paramount Hotel, and at the time he was interested in bringing whatever nightlife he could to the hotel. And he wasn’t happy with anyone in New York, and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing it. So it was kind of an opportunity to do something that I’d never really ever thought about. But I did entertain at my apartment in New York, and I thought “Hey, it’s a commercial space. I can design it the way I want.” And the deal was great for me — there was no rent for a couple of years. And Ian really wanted me to do something to bring in life to the hotel. And I created this lounge atmosphere, which at the time really didn’t exist. So I brought this lounge concept to the hotel. That was the Whiskey at Paramount. From there I opened a few more bars. I went to Los Angeles and opened a Whiskey there. And eventually, after about five or six places, I was approached by Barry Sternlicht, who at the time had this concept to open a W Hotel chain. And signed on to help him create the W’s and do all the bars in the W Hotels. So now we have the Whiskey Blue in the W Hotel in L.A.

So owning bars was never a long-term goal of yours? No it was never a goal of mine. I was always interested in architecture and design, and it was really an outlet for me to be able to create spaces for people to socialize. And like I said, whether it’s in my apartment in New York or my house in LA, I like to entertain, and I like to create a space where people can meet. Whether it’s meeting for the first time or offering them a place to go with their friends and just socialize, have some conversations, have a couple of great drinks, and listen to some good music and not have to clean up afterwards.

Give me a quick run through of the kinds of places you’re running now. We have a brand called Stone Rose Lounge, one of which is in the Time Warner Center. And that’s another really upscale, more sophisticated and elegant place — which is also similar to what we typically would do except it’s a bit more elegant, but still attracting a very high-profile clientele. And we have Whiskey Park which is in Trump Park on Central Park South. So we briefly started this Stone Rose concept in the Time Warner Center. And we brought one to Los Angeles, and we just opened one in Scottsdale, AZ.

Known Associates: I am partnered with Starwood Hotels, and I have a partnership with Hard Rock Hotels. That’s the Rank Group, so we have a partnership with them. We have Biloxi, and we have San Diego right now. And we’re talking about a few others. Who else? We’re partners with Sol Melia, and we have the Melia Hotel in Cancun, and we have a great place, the Melia Hotel in Madrid. We have a place on the top floor there, a patio area. And that’s called the Penthouse. And then downstairs we have a great restaurant and bar called the Midnight Rose. And we have a partnership with Sofitel, so we have the Stone Rose in New York at the Sofitel.

What about the casino and hotel you were planning on building in Vegas with Brad Pitt and George Clooney? I contacted them a while back to build a hotel and casino, and we had purchased a piece of land and come up with some ideas and some architectural drawings of what we wanted to see on the site. And within a year, we got an offer for our property that we couldn’t say no to. Our neighbors decided they needed more property and they made us an offer and we looked at each other and said, ‘Hey as much as we would love to build this concept, it would be a really bad business decision to turn down this kind of money. It was really just George and I. And then we had discussed with Brad to maybe do some architecture and design cause he’s very talented as far as design.

Do you have any places in Vegas right now? No, I had two places in Vegas which I sold about a year ago. I had a place called Cherry at Hard Rock and a place called the Whiskey at Green Valley Ranch. I was friends with the owners of the hotel and the company, and it was a public company which they were taking private. And I was their only partner over there, so they asked me if it would be all right if they made an offer to buy my places back, and they wanted to take everything in house. And I said, “Of course. We’re friends and partners.” So we worked out a deal, and I sold them back to them. And now we have new opportunities to go back. We’re exploring a few different opportunities. But I don’t do what most of those guys do — these mega, ultra clubs of 50,000 square feet. I keep mine a bit smaller and more intimate.


Projections: We continue to build spaces. We opened Whiskey Park in Atlanta at the W Hotel. We’re doing a Whiskey Blue at the W in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve recently over the past year come out with a line of drink mixers called Midnight Bar Collection. We have margaritas and Bloody Marys and mojitos. It’s an all-natural drink mixer line, which is doing fantastic. A lot of the high-end retailers have picked it up. There’s Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel, and Crate and Barrel, and places like that, and it’s doing really well.

How did the drink mixers start up? What would happen was every time I would go to a party, a private party or a friend’s house, they would ask me to mix up some margaritas or put together the Bloody Marys for them. So I would go to my bartenders, and we created recipes within Gerber Group. We have our own recipes for all of our drinks, and if we can, we have all of our bars create the same drinks so it’s consistent throughout the 35 places that we have. So if I’m in LA, I’ll go to one of my places and I’ll pick up a couple of gallons of each that they mix up for us, and I bring them to the parties. And after numerous requests to just bottle them and start selling them, I did, and it really took off fast. I was fortunate I was invited on the Oprah Winfrey show because she really likes the mixers, and I got to talk about it there.

Do you have any innovations you’re working on? I have a few other concepts that we’re very close to.

Well tell everyone so they can copy them. You know, when I started the lounge concept 17 years ago, it didn’t exist, and now everyone’s opening up a lounge. I’m definitely flattered that other people appreciated what I did and are trying to do the same thing. So even when I do come out, I don’t want to talk about what I’m doing. But I definitely have a different direction that I’m going with some of my newer places and different concepts. And I’m sure that when I do them, other people will do the same.

Industry Icons: I respect people like Barry Sternlicht, who everyone said couldn’t compete in the boutique hotel industry because he’s coming from such a corporate giant as Starwood Hotels and who just said, “Yeah, watch me.” And he did it, and he took over. He literally built this brand, this W brand. At the time he had the St. Regis and Sheraton and some other mammoths. But he started the W Hotel, and that’s taken off. It’s the biggest in that industry. I think Andre Balazs has done an incredible job. I mean wherever he goes, he’s got the golden touch. And he does it in a more subtle way, but I really appreciate his aesthetic and the way he operates his company and his hotels.

Industry Rivals: It is a very competitive industry, but for me, I’ve been in it for over 15 years. I’ve had 35 places and another 5 under construction. So I don’t feel the competition, and I don’t see it. I think there are people out there doing some wonderful things. But from what I hear, I think a lot of these places go in and out really fast. People assume they can go in and open a place and make a lot of money in a year or two and then it’s over. For me, I’m in it for the long run. I’ve never closed a place in all my years of business. I don’t really see the other people in my field out there as competition. I think we all have something unique to offer, and I’m very happy with my company and our continued success.

Favorite Hangs: I think when I go out to a bar, it’s always my place. It’s either Stone Rose or it’s Whiskey Blue because my friends are always there. So whether I’m there or not, all my friends are there, so it’s always nice to pop in; and truly, I create spaces out of my personal desire and what I like. I don’t go around and do research and say “Hey, what’s needed here?” or “What do people want?” It’s really what I like. So if I’m creating something I really enjoy, that’s where I want to go.

You have a famous name and a famous wife. Do you think your coverage in the tabloids and your famous friends helps your business? Well, there’s no doubt that exposure is great for a place, and I get plenty of exposure. But we’ve always had this philosophy to never discuss any high-profile people or celebrities that are in our places. So we’re a company that never calls the press to say, “Hey, so and so was here yesterday and they were drinking this and they were with this person.”

Is that common practice? Oh yeah, I think most places do that. And I think that’s very short-sighted because if a celebrity comes to a place, they’re not necessarily coming in for publicity. And my attitude is they come, they’re having a good time, they’re having a few drinks, they’re letting their guard down. They don’t want to be talked about the next day. They don’t want to have to worry about ‘Oh Jeez, what did I do?’ and then have to read about it in the paper the next day. I think the reason they all come back to my places is that they know their privacy is going to be protected. And we’re not going to talk about them. So I think that’s one of the keys to our success. And ultimately we have employees who have been with us from the start. And I think that’s a big key. Everyone wants to know someone. When you’re going out to dinner or to a bar, you want to know the hostess or the maître d’ when you walk in. You want to know you’re going to be taken care of. I can go to the local diner, and I love it if I see George when I walk in. He has my drink on the table, and knows what I like and how I like it no matter what. It just feels good when you walk in and you can know someone.