If there’s one word to sum up Noel Romero, it might be “sweet.” Known for his love of key lime pie and bourbon cake with salted caramel ice cream, he not only has a sweet tooth, but fully admits he’s also known for being “the nice guy.”
“I am sometimes annoyingly happy to the point where I don’t give many people the chance to feel otherwise,” he explains with a huge grin on his face. “I’m also the great diffuser. I’ve thrown myself into so many crazy situations that I’m pretty comfortable standing in front of the most awkward moments,” he says. As a restaurant General Manager, that trait can come in handy.
Noel Galvez Romero was born in Leominister, Massachusetts, but grew up all over the state of Washington. He attended Federal Way High School and Green River Community College, and started his restaurant career at 19 years old at Red Robin and then joined Salty’s in Redondo and worked his way through every front-of-the-house position he could over a ten-year span. In 2014, Noel joined the El Gaucho Tacoma team as a cocktail server before he was quickly promoted to captain at El Gaucho Seattle, managing both the bar and wine programs over a two-year period. When the opportunity for General Manager in Tacoma appeared, he jumped at the opportunity.
Noel is eager to tackle his new position with all he’s got. “El Gaucho has opened up so many doors for me and I’m hoping to be able to give back, by giving the same love and support everyone at El Gaucho has shown to me,” he says.
You could say that Noel is enjoying a promotion personally as well. He recently became engaged to his best friend, Julyna, and they are planning their wedding for this summer. “She is my rock and keeps me grounded,” he says. They enjoy hiking, eating and traveling together. Noel also enjoys playing basketball, and spending time with his extended family of four brothers – David, Joseph, Jamie and Bryan, and he admits they are all so busy it’s hard to get time together. “My favorite place in the world is anywhere my family and friends are,” he explains.
Noel is also a mean poker player, and for 10 years played it seriously as a source of income. “That was in my 20s,” he says, and jokes that now he just wants to work and enjoy life, instead of chasing a dollar.
Noel is very grateful for where he finds himself today, and is excited about what the future holds. His favorite Melody Beattie quote sums it up perfectly for him: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
You might come a stranger, but you will leave as a friend when you visit Noel and the team at El Gaucho Tacoma, open every night at 4pm.