Raising the bar: A story from South Boston

To make a career in the restaurant business is to make a career in resilience. It also means possessing qualities that you need to employ every minute of your shift: empathy, curiosity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and generosity, to name a few. For some, that kind of job is draining physically and emotionally. For others, it's invigorating.

Take it from a Boston bar manager, Will Falaro, who started out as a bartender near Fenway Park when he was 21 years old. Thinking he would burn out and probably shift gears, he seized an opportunity working for a South Boston-based restaurant group. “It wasn’t until I joined the opening team at Lincoln Tavern, was when I saw a different side of the business which made me want to stick around and learn more than just how to be a better bartender.”

It was a decision that would change his life and career.

South Boston bartender
Bar manager Will Falaro has been with the Lincoln Tavern and Broadway Restaurant Group since they opened their flagship location in South Boston.

Explosive growth in Southie

Lincoln Tavern was the first of many restaurants for Broadway Restaurant Group, a small Southie-based restaurant organization that went up faster than scaffolding. With the launch of Lincoln Tavern, they found tremendous success--able to bring a warm and inviting atmosphere, high-quality cuisine, and genuine hospitality to an area booming with developments, new neighbors, and business activity.

“The South Boston community was in the beginning stages of a drastic change and we saw that the neighborhood could do more,” said Falaro. “Lincoln Tavern, after a couple years, was more than a neighborhood spot and that’s what sparked the idea to grow. Soon came the birth of Loco, Capo and Fat Baby.”

Falaro has seen Broadway Restaurant Group slowly corner the market--in literally one corner of a South Boston neighborhood--with one restaurant opening after another. Now, with four open locations in the area where East meets West Broadway, you can choose between your standard American fare (Lincoln Tavern), Mexican (Loco), Italian (Capo), and Asian fusion (Fat Baby), all just steps from each other. It seems like something that happened over night, but really took a lot of hard work and perseverance.

The key to success

Getting it right takes a lot of trial and error. The food service industry is one that takes on a new life each day: the atmosphere, the energy, and the fast-paced, ever-changing crowd of patrons. “You have to be flexible. It’s a wild game with crazy hours. You need to learn to enjoy it. Keep learning, and say “yes” to everything,” said Falaro. That is the very sentiment that carries true throughout all the Broadway Restaurant Group locations--as seen through their brand and culture.

One thing that helped Falaro succeed was curiosity and drive. You can show up for work, do your job, and clock out. Or, you can show up to work every day with an intrapreneurial spirit. “Go beyond the drinks and the food and figure out where help is needed. There’s not a restaurant in the world that will tell you “no” if you wanted to learn and help.”

Despite the crazy hours, new openings, and throngs of people that flock to these neighborhood eateries and watering holes, hospitality is a hallmark of the staff--working hard to create a consistent, quality experience. Falaro’s words of wisdom to anyone looking to keep the momentum in their hospitality career?

“Be happy. Throw a party. Stay organized.”


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