Photography: LaQuann Dawson

At 29, Omaha-born Evan Major has spent nearly half of his life in the service industry. Though he initially didn’t consider this a profession, he felt drawn to the thrill of the trade and soon thereafter couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else. Fascinated by food, drink and hospitality, he has made great strides since beginning his career in the industry as a busser at an Italian restaurant. He now works as a bar back at Brooklyn’s Donna, but his role is malleable. Whether washing dishes or assisting servers on the floor, he is intent on paying attention to the small things and honing his observational skills in order to ensure optimal service.  The more he learns, the more he wants to learn and as such, he looks forward to many more years of a sound and gratifying education, which he feels will not only strengthen his resolve as a person, but as a formidable contender in his profession.   

Most memorable story?

The most memorable experiences are always the ones in which you just feel like you’re going down in flames. Not too long ago we had back to back wedding parties. As much as we had prepared ourselves for service we weren’t expecting it to be quite as busy as it was. It’s a challenge but there’s something rewarding about it. When you’ve done the best that you could do, you walk away from it feeling more prepared to take on the next challenge. 

Bar/Chef Mentor? Why?

Jose Cardenas from Raines Law Room. His passion from the get-go was food and drinks. He’s been in this industry for a long time and he’s a really knowledgable and talented guy. 

Dream solo project? What’s your long term goal in the industry? 

That’s something that’s always under revision for me. For a long time I thought I wanted to own a bar, but the more I work with bar owners and managers, the more I see what a tedious process it is. It requires tremendous courage, especially if you’re a small business owner, to open something like this. There’s a lot of risk, demand, and competition. At this point, I can’t see myself opening something. On a much smaller scale, I just want to be a better bartender.

Best pre staff meal you’ve had? 

I like to eat small and fast. Rice and beans. Carbs. All of it. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

From a former teacher of mine who said “Consider everything an experiment.” 

What does being in charge look like to you? 

If I was in charge I would take any and all suggestions made by staff into consideration. It goes a long way and it’s hugely rewarding.