Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front of the house professionals in Atlanta restaurants. Right now, PR professional and Pilates instructor Laura Scholz writes about Vii Kelly, server and bartender at Noni's:
My husband and I are avid runners, so Friday night dinners are always about carbo-loading (pasta) and hydration (beer for him, wine for me) for Saturday morning runs and races.
We'd been searching in vain for a great Italian spot when we tried Noni's a couple of years ago on the recommendation of our good friends Jen and Ryan Hidinger (of STAPLEHOUSE). It was love at first sight.
From the heaping bowls of pasta to the quirky, laid-back atmosphere to the awesomely eclectic music, we felt instantly at home.
That "home"-iness is due in part to our favorite server/bartender extraordinaire, Vii Kelly. My husband often travels during the week, and his flights home on Fridays are always unpredictable. Regardless of what time we walk through the door (often greeted first on the patio by owner Matt Ruppert and his German shepherd, Lucy), Vii has our drinks—Golden Monkey for him, Sangiovese for me—in our hands in sixty seconds or less, regardless of whether or not that bar is three people deep. She knows our order by heart (actually, everyone else there does as well), and can instantly tell if we just want to stuff our faces and run or sit and linger over another drink or two.
It's not easy to manage the hungry and thirsty masses on a Friday night in Atlanta, but Vii always does so with grace, ease, and just the right amount of sass. And that's why we love calling Noni's home—at least on Friday nights.
—Laura Scholz, @LauraScholz
Is there an outstanding server, host, or other FOH sensation the city should know about? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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