So how does a Puerto Rican-Dominican girl from the South Bronx in NYC end up
in North West Arkansas? She meets a good ol’ country boy from Batesville, Arkansas
and the rest, as they say, is history!
Having moved from a big city, I didn’t know what to expect about where I
would end up working in Fayetteville. How would it compare to my experiences back
That’s when Bordinos came into my life. My husband and I started to look for work
and I saw an ad for Service Manager at Bordinos. I quickly applied and got an
interview and very soon found out my husband had worked for Joe Fennel years ago
and was upset that I applied before he did!
As a kid, I would see movies where someone with a southern accent said
something like “How y’all doin’?” and I said to myself “That’s not real.” I didn’t
believe there was a place where everywhere you went people would smile and say
hello. That you could run into someone in the supermarket and they would remember
that course in school you were taking and ask you how it was going. That you would
get a flat tire and call a gas station and someone would drive to you to help you fix it.
That one of the guests that frequents your restaurant peaks their head into the
manager’s office to say how wonderful everything was and that it was genuine and
heartfelt. I’ve always craved that sense of community and belonging and I found that
here at Bordinos.
So how does it compare to some of the restaurants I worked at in NY? To tell
you the truth, it doesn’t. It’s a whole different beast! Yes, there’s great service. Yes,
there’s fantastic food. Yes, there is phenomenal wine. However, I can’t remember
ever walking into any of my New York restaurant jobs and seeing the owner washing
dishes. I definitely can’t remember an owner walking through the restaurant and
making small talk with everyone including staff members, with attention to personal
details. But I came to find out that’s just how they do it in the south, and especially
Mr. Joe Fennel. He is in a class of his own. It truly has been an honor working for
him. In the year and a half I’ve worked here I have learned invaluable lessons about
what hospitality truly means and how different Southern hospitality can be.