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Exploring Life & Business with Billy Giordano of Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Billy Giordano.

Hi Billy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m from St. Louis; I went to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins and came to Columbia, MO, to work for Mizzou football as a strength and conditioning coach in 2005. While working in the weight room, I needed some extra cash, so I worked nights as a door guy at Willies and Fieldhouse and moved up pretty quickly. After bartending a summer at the Lake of the Ozarks, I was offered a GM position at a new steakhouse and wine bar opening later that year and had to choose between grad school or learning how to open a restaurant from a concrete floor up. I chose the restaurant, worked for a couple of years, fell in love, and opened my spot, Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge, in August of 2008 with my still close friend and co-worker, Jeremy Bowles. I’ve run the FOH daily, and he’s run the back of the house and Chef’d for the past 14 years. We both also have independent ventures aside from the restaurant.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Anyone who says their restaurant experience has been a smooth road wasn’t involved and had a perfect team to handle the stresses, or they’re lying. HA! We’ve for sure had our ups and downs, and the economy has been our biggest hurdle a couple of times now, but we love what we do and figure it out.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We’re a big city bar/lounge/restaurant in the heart of a college town. We focus on eclectic creative food and beverage in a high-energy environment and take great pride in our atmosphere and service. We’re where people come to celebrate, have fun while eating, and spend a bit of a wild night out on the weekends.

Our tagline is “AFTERNOON. AFTERWORK. AFTER DARK.” We’ve always focused on providing a great experience in all 3-day parts. Lunch opens at 11 am, happy hour Monday-Friday from 2 pm-6 pm, dinner until 10 pm, bar service until 1:30 am, DJ’s Thursday-Saturday, and Columbia’s best brunch with bottomless mimosas from 10 am-4 pm on Sundays. We’re also a full-service caterer, catering to small in-home celebrations, corporate events, and full-service weddings. We do it all!

What characteristic of yours would you give the most credit if you had to?
I’d say my love of service and attention to detail. I get a high out of taking care of my guests and seeing the smiles on their faces. That energy transpires through the staff and into the experience our guests have and makes us who we are; combine that with a little OCD and the ability to throw a good party, and you’ve got the Room 38 culture.

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