Bartender Salvador Robles
May 29, 2020 02:46PM
By Tara Spencer
“I have only worked in the service industry for one year and a couple of months,” Salvador Robles said.
He is also a local musician in a popular mariachi band and a freelance writer who worked at The Reader and El Perico as an associate publisher.
His first (and only) service industry job?
“I grew up going to the GI Forum, which is a South Omaha staple and right up the street from my house. So when I turned 21, it became my neighborhood bar…I figured when they were hiring, I’d jump the gun finally and apply.”
He added that frequenting the bar and restaurant, and knowing the clientele, helped. “We really are a family there, and I think the whole ‘South O,’ big city, small-town feel really festers at the GI. We rely heavily on our regular customers, and with that we develop many long relationships. My coworkers are honestly close friends and we laugh, work hard, and support each other.”
The coronavirus has affected Robles and the GI Forum as it has others. He was laid off on March 12, the same day the CWS was cancelled. He said he thinks the restaurant will survive, thanks to takeout orders and the support of their community.
On a personal level, Robles said “I used to pride myself on thinking I would always have a backup gig…my skills have become nullified because of the impact on the service industry,” he said. “I do have hope that things will normalize and I think Omahans truly have been supporting local businesses so they can stay open.”
This article was printed in the May 2020 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.