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Moira McGuire rose in the ranks at 21c's Metropole from host to Beverage Manager | Photo: Twin Spire Photography
Moira McGuire rose in the ranks at 21c's Metropole from host to Beverage Manager | Photo: Twin Spire Photography
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Mixing Up a Rewarding Career at Metropole

What was once a fun side hustle turned into an enriching career for Moira McGuire.

She's a Cleveland native who made Cincinnati her home after attending college at the University of Cincinnati. In July 2016, she picked up a job at 21c's Metropole restaurant to help her get through college. She quickly learned that she could explore her creativity, was encouraged and recognized for taking on new responsibilities, and quickly rose within the ranks.

She went from host to cocktailer to bartender, and just recently, McGuire was promoted to the Beverage Manager at Metropole. She credits the amazing staff, who is always willing to help other employees learn while on the job, for contributing to the ease with which one can climb the ladder at Metropole.

"As soon as I was given a position as a cocktailer, I began asking bartenders questions about their roles in order to satisfy my own curiosities," she says. "I learned a lot about each position before I actually got there, which has allowed me to succeed in those positions and even help others along the way. The staff here is always willing to share information on how to succeed, and we all work really well together."

McGuire says she enjoys being source of support for other staffers, just like management has been for her over the years. "I want to make sure we're creating a space where people are learning every day and feel supported," she says. "Thankfully, everyone here is genuinely interested in food and beverage, we all love eating and drinking, so it makes the learning process a lot more fun."

21c and Metropole is part of a large company, which offers additional perks of benefits and support, McGuire says. "But it's also locally focused, so there is a close-knit team that has been able to create a bond over the years," she adds. "I have leadership surrounding me that I can always go to for support and to ask my questions to, and there's always someone to reach out to for help if you need it."

Although there have been others before her, McGuire is taking a different path than her predecessors. As the food and beverage industry continues to navigate a post-pandemic world, she gravitated toward a role of providing support and validation to employees, while also giving customers the full experience they deserve.

Most recently, in addition to her promotion, McGuire was given an award at a workshop called Fab, a 48-hour workshop for women in the hospitality and food and beverage industries. "We get to talk about women in business and share the issues we're dealing with," she says. "We offer tips and tricks for each other."

For her part, McGuire wrote an essay on being promoted to management, and how it's new and sometimes scary. "I talked a lot about managing people in a post-COVID world, where everything is booming but places are severely understaffed," she says. "That's why I go the extra mile to make sure that people feel valued and appreciated here. I want everyone to feel stable in an industry that can be mentally and emotionally taxing."

The art at 21c is what attracts many guests. McGuire describes a visit to Metropole and 21c as a fully immersive artistic experience. "We like to think of ourselves as being part of the art," says McGuire. "Our establishment has a strong art background, and it attracts a lot of creatives and artists and really brings out the inner artist of everyone - from staff members to guests - and gives a greater appreciation for the art outside of 21c and in the neighborhood."

In addition to sharing the menu at Metropole, McGuire enjoys interacting with guests to share her own hidden gems with them as they explore Cincinnati. "Cincinnati is the unexpected," she says. "It has so much to offer and I can relate to guests who aren't from here and share with them the spots I love. Plus, we want people to hang out with us at 21c, but we also want them to have a good time in the city and be really impressed with Cincinnati."

Currently, McGuire's favorite cocktail on the menu is Middle Earth. "It's bitter and earthy, but also really refreshing," she says. "It's not the usual drink people go for but I'm really proud of what I've created with it. It's nice to be able to try something new and off the beaten path, but also to have it celebrated on the menu."

McGuire says working with the team at Metropole is really like working with other artists on a project. "Creating a cocktail menu with my bartenders is a different form of art, but it's an art that I can actually work on as opposed to just admiring it," she adds.

Interested in career opportunities at 21c or Metropole? On Monday April 25, they're hosting a Job Fair at 21c from 3-6pm. Learn about positions available, see the space, and meet the team in person. Click here to learn more.