General manager gets his piece of the pie
More than 20 years in the Las Vegas service industry is quite a long time, and if you were to take a look at Ryan Banda you wouldn’t think he was old enough to have that many years under his belt. But he does, and he even has a 22-year-old son following in his footsteps, currently working as a server in Vegas, too.
“Just as I tell my son, and my staff as well: Gain as much knowledge as you can about the product you’re selling,” says Banda, referring to his staff at Flour & Barley at The Linq Promenade, where he is the general manager. “Give 100 percent.” Adding to that is that more than likely, nine times out of 10, he’ll have experienced what his own servers are dealing with, and he can guide them to a solution.
Banda isn’t kidding—he’s been a server at some of the most popular restaurants on the Strip, and worked in almost every resort on or near the Strip. But about six years ago, he moved into management when he joined Block 16 Hospitality, owners of Flour & Barley as well as a handful of trendy restaurants around town.
Asked if he misses being a server, the Las Vegas native just smiles and says he has a lot of stories over the years that he can fondly look back on, but now, and since he’s joined Block 16, he says, “I feel like I found my spot. I like being in management and passing on what I’ve learned. And you can go from job to job finding the right restaurant, to actually finding a home, and that’s what I’ve found.”
Dirty Dog IPA
Banda points out that Flour & Barley is a big supporter of local breweries. One of those is Big Dog’s Brewing Company, and a favorite selection from the brewery is the Dirty Dog IPA. Even the pizza dough is made with a local IPA. With six beers on draft and a selection of more than 60 beers total, stop by Flour & Barley during its happy hour, Monday to Friday from 2-6 p.m., and you can order draft beers for just $5 and try one of three different pies for just $10. Oh, and during happy hour you can order one of Flour & Barley’s specialties—pizza fries (trust us, that dish is worth the trip alone!).