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FRONT OF THE HOUSE

Meet a few unsung heroes who add to our dining experiences.

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHEA EVANS

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Jose Partida, busser for 30 years at PJ & Co. in Reno.
Partida has worked for about 35 years in the restaurant industry

When we dine out, a battalion is involved in getting the food we eat from the farm fields to the plates set down before us. The people behind our food include farmers and ranchers, truck drivers, purveyors, the day chefs who prepped for the night shift, and the line cooks working the timed rhythm of their stations to assemble a table’s order. 

The final people involved in this food chain are known as the front of the house. Their jobs may entail entertaining, being invisible, and sometimes both. For some of the best meals of our lives, we might not remember the waiter or waitress who served us, the bartender who made that exceptional cocktail, or the busser who cleaned our table, but they all had an important hand in adding to that memory. They were with us every step of the way, expertly timing the service of each course, filling water glasses when we weren’t looking, recommending a perfect wine or new special to try, or clearing a plate before we put an elbow in it. 

This photo series is a tribute to these often overlooked professionals.

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Larry Clifton, bartender at PJ & Co. in Reno. He has worked
at PJ’s for 27 years, and in the restaurant industry for 40 years

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Ragen Locricchio, bartender and front of the house manager at
Centro Bar & Kitchen in Reno, has three years’ experience in
the industry and has been with Centro for eight months

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Peggyanna Parker, floor manager Reno’s Gold ’N Silver Inn, stops to join hands in prayer with her customers.
She has worked in the restaurant industry for 45 years, and has been with Gold ‘N Silver for seven years

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