Do You Know Stephen Warner?

Anyone who has been to our La Frite Happy Hour event knows Stephen… our server “extraordinaire”. Stephen initiated La Frite’s daily Happy Hour a few years ago, and was instrumental in starting the Lavaca & Friends weekly Happy Hour event with Jim and Jane.

Stephen was born in Lakenheath England. His father was in the military — stationed mostly overseas — so Stephen spent most of his youth living in England, Germany and Italy. His family moved to the states when he was 18, and he finished high school in Ohio. He completed his education at Miami University in Oxford Ohio.

His first career — in retail — began immediately after college at a family-owned department store in California, where he worked his way up to management. He then became manager of the first Disney Store — also located in California — and was later relocated to Las Vegas to manage Disney’s store in the Fashion Mall on the Las Vegas strip.

In the early 1990’s, Stephen moved to San Antonio, and continued his retail career here, first working at Foley’s, then as General Manager of the Pottery Barn in the Quarry, and eventually as a manager at the Container Store.

In 2002, a friend who worked at the Liberty Bar asked him to help out as the restaurant’s Sunday morning manager, and that was his first position in the restaurant business. And that’s when Stephen discovered what he really enjoyed doing. He took on additional work at the Liberty Bar, as a waiter, and then as a bartender. His shift into a career in the restaurant business was well underway. Since working at Liberty Bar, he has worked at Casbeers, and took a position at La Frite in July of 2008.

Stephen genuinely loves working in the restaurant business. It’s his “profession” — not just a job. He enjoys working so closely with people, and he especially enjoys working with the Donnelly’s, who he says foster a comfortable and friendly environment at La Frite. You’ll rarely see Stephen with a pen and order pad in his hands — he is just about flawless in taking and delivering orders by memory, and believes that the extra effort involved in working with patrons that way fosters a little bit more of a connection.

Stephen lives in Olmos Park, but spends most of his time — both at work and play — in Southtown. He regularly enjoys The Friendly Spot, Monterey, Blue Star and Madhatters. You’ll also occasionally see him at neighborhood events, like a crawl. He plans on moving to Southtown early next year, when the lease on his current home expires. He says that what he enjoys most about Lavaca is “It’s a true neighborhood…just blocks from downtown. If I’m walking the streets, I know people, and I like that. I know them by name and I can say hello. It’s a real neighborhhood.”

Stephen, we look forward to your move to our part of town!

Originally published September 21, 2011 in the Lavaca & Friends Happy Hour update.

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