Contest, career decision awaits servers
Everybody knows Lucy and Ethel and their shared adventures. Fans still get star crossed eyes over a classic Betty and Veronica comic book. Cagney and Lacy always got their man together. Media darlings, dynamic duos, colleagues, best friends, buds--these tandems of long-time friendship are historical.
You got it, Gainesville has its own dynamic female duo in Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill servers Ami Santos, image right,and Kelly Faulkner, image left. And these servers are going to do it "their way."
A little over a year ago, Ami and Kelly met each other as new servers at Harry's. They also have become roommates and best friends. Both have recently graduated from college, and they are making plans for starting their own downtown late night food service for hungry 'late shifters,' and the most exciting thing is they have sent a video to ABC's Amazing Race producers hoping to win a part in next years' television show the Amazing Race-around-the-world contest.
"It's really incredible," said recent Pembroke Pines, UF Criminology and Business graduate Kelly Faulkner. "We both started working at Harry's close to the same time, and we both needed new roommates, we moved in together and we have been friends ever since."
Being a server at Harry's wasn't Kelly's first waitress experience: "Ever since high school I have worked serving customers in one form or another." Kelly said. "Working at Harry's has been special for me. This is a good restaurant with an excellent reputation," she hoisting a giant tray full of seafood, burgers, and pasta entrees. "More importantly to me the Harry's staff works like a team. We all know our responsibilities, and we work together to do great things."
"Kelly's right," Ami added. "Most of us at Harry's are friends. We play organized sports together, things like kick ball and softball against other restaurant teams. We hang together after work, and we are having a Harry's staff cook-out this weekend."
Ami was seriously considering joining the Air Force after graduation until, in a late night conversation with her roommate, they decided downtown Gainesville needed an alternative late night food spot.
"Of course anyone would be a customer, but we are thinking that two working girls like us and a café called 'Kegs, Legs, and Eggs' could feed downtown's late night masses," Ami said, smiling about her idea.
With a new biology degree under her apron, the Destin, FL, biologist is ready to try out some new occupations. "I like the interaction of meeting new people, and making new friends," Ami said. "It would be fun for Kelly and me to be partners in a successful adventure.
Late night customers are a different breed of patron but these girls are ready." When I was working one evening at Harry's, I went to pick up a customer's plate thinking he was finished, and he stuck my hand with his fork," Kelly said with an amazed look in her eye. "'I'm not done with that plate young lady,' the customer said with a challenging look," Kelly added.
While it may sound like a fast track to new business worlds and exciting life experiences, they are in no hurry to give up their current jobs.
"We want to be sure this is the right thing to do," Kelly said. "Besides if we win, and join the Amazing Race contestants next year to travel the world, all other projects get put on hold.
"We were watching TV when the announcer said they were accepting applications and videos from people who wanted to be on next year's Amazing race," Ami said.
"So we put on our uniforms, turned on the video camera and proceeded to tell the producers that our friendship, life skills, and college experience would make us the best contestants they will find." Kelly said wide eyed..
With so many plans and ideas, the obvious final question is what does the future look like for these idea-driven soul mates.
"Being on TV would be fun, and working with Kelly for 'Keg, Eggs, and Legs' would be a blast," Ami said. "The important things is, we're friends forever, nothing will ever change that."