Raising the Bar Spotlight

“Loyalty is an important trait,” says Chef Barbara Lynch. “I am immensely proud of my staff, especially those who have been with me over the years. In many ways, I depend on them to be my eyes and ears on the ground. Hilary is one of our most tenured servers, not just at B&G Oysters but within the BLC, and Steve knows The Butcher Shop like the back of his hand. I couldn’t be more proud to count them both as part of my family.”

Hilary Yeaw

B&G Oysters

Hilary Yeaw has worked at B&G Oysters since 2010, wearing many hats: answering phones, running food, waiting tables, and tending bar.

Talk about an early memory at B&G that resonates with you?
I will never, ever forget my first meeting with Cat Silirie. She sat down with me on the B&G patio and spent no less than two hours explaining her wine philosophy, her experiences, and the way to approach learning about wine. Never before had someone treated me like an investment, offering mentorship, education, and company benefits. I still do not take that for granted, to this day.

What has compelled you to stay with BLC over the years?
Unquestionably, it is the people I work with. We sincerely work as a team here and a family. The support that you feel, from your coworkers to the hands-on attitudes of the managers, really goes the extra mile to make everything a step above for the guest, without them even realizing it. For me, that’s where we really shine.

What is your favorite part of the day?
Family meal! A lot of the kitchen staff work other jobs. Family meal ensures that everyone gets fed and refuels before the work ahead. It is a very communal event, a time to connect. Plus, the food is great!

What personality traits do you think best suits your position?
A sense of humor and being a good listener, as well as possessing good recall.

Tool of your craft you can’t live without?
My wine key. It’s a multitool: The knife opens boxes, pokes holes in oil cans, acts as a fidget spinner. It can also open wine bottles in a pinch.

Name three ingredients you’d suggest every home bartender have on hand.
Ice made from filtered water, fresh herbs, and fresh fruit or citrus. Don’t mess with ingredients past their prime. You destroy the product, and the end result is disappointing.

Tell us a secret about working at B&G.
Guests have remarked that we look choreographed at B&G! Because the bar is situated in between two halves of an open kitchen, it takes a little time to learn how to share your space, gain a sense of spatial relationships, be respectful, and move quickly. Some nights, I feel like we’ve been playing a soccer game: ducking and dodging and occasionally hitting each other!

Steve Gilarde

The Butcher Shop

Tell us about the culture at The Butcher Shop?
Even though The Butcher Shop is a more casual concept than, say, No. 9 Park, I learned early on that the service team is expected to execute the same level of hospitality. This means being friendly, professional, and putting the guests’ needs first, without being overly formal.

What has compelled you to stay with BLC over the years?
Everything from the location, the space, and the atmosphere, along with the amazing people I work with and our interesting and awesome guests.

What do you love most about what you do?
Hosting people and connecting with them through food and wine. It’s fun and easy to do when you’re proud of what you’re serving.

What is your favorite part of the day?
That time in the evening when things are winding down after a busy shift, and I can finally take a deep breath and relax with my colleagues. Postshift is fun, therapeutic, and a great bonding experience. Man, I’ve worked with so many special, interesting, and crazy people.

What would you recommend on the menu to a first-time guest?
The steak tartare—it’s the best. Whenever regular guests move out of town, it’s always on their to-do list when they come back to visit.

How does your approach to the wine list enhance a guest’s experience?
I like to keep it simple and fun. I love our wine list, so I hope my enthusiasm shows and helps put guests at ease. It’s all about making them feel comfortable and happy. Telling a fun story about a particular wine is a great way to connect and personalize the experience.

Tool of your craft you can’t live without?
Hilary nailed it: The one and only tool I need is my wine key. I have a backup at all times.

Tell us a secret about working at The Butcher Shop.
I met my wife here! Kate was the opening bar manager, and I was always amazed by how good she was at her job. She can deal with any professional situation with a smile on her face.