A violinist and clothes designer in his spare time, Lure’s warm and welcoming greeter Ernest Turner sets the stage for each guest’s dining experience. We’ve been honored to have him as a part of the Fifth Group family for nearly 15 years. Learn more about Ernest in our full Q&A below, and check out the @lure.atl Instagram account for more highlights:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and moved to Atlanta in 1994.
How long have you been with FGR?
August will be my 15th anniversary with Fifth Group. My first job with the company was as a server at South City Kitchen Midtown.
How did you get into the restaurant industry?
I’ve always been obsessed with food and drinks. I always thought it would be fun to a waiter growing up – to be on the other side and help people decide what they want to eat and help them celebrate special occasions. I started working in restaurants in college on the weekends.
What is your role at Lure?
When I first started, the role of greeter was a stepping stone to manager and I was a little apprehensive because I was unsure about going into management. I enjoy having a leadership role with a lot of responsibilities and Fifth Group instills confidence in me to deliver. I get to engage with guests on a different level rather than just waiting on them at the table. It’s an exciting challenge, as I have to worry about the entire restaurant vs. one specific section.
What is your favorite part about being part of the FGR family?
I like working for Fifth Group because they are very organized and detail-oriented and I love structure. The owners are local, dine at the restaurants regularly with their families and friends, and put forth effort to get to know us. They show their appreciation by offering us great benefits and perks. At Lure, I love being able to walk to work, enjoy the style of the cuisine and love getting to know our guests including locals, visitors and regulars that treat us like family. We have a very talented staff which sets the experience apart.
What’s your favorite dish and drink at Lure?
At Lure, my old favorite is the octopus and pork lettuce wraps – it’s a beautiful dish and I enjoy eating aggressively seasoned foods and international cuisine. My favorite drink is “The Commissioner,” an old bourbon cocktail that we used to serve. Down the street at South City Kitchen, I love the fried chicken. Before working there when I was a patron, I always thought to myself, “I shouldn’t go out to eat to order fried chicken at a nice restaurant. How good could it possibly be?” Once I was hired, I tried the fried chicken and fell in love. I couldn’t stop eating it and had it at least every week. It’s unbelievable how good they make it taste.
What is a fun fact about you?
Most people don’t know that I play violin with the community orchestra. I’ve been playing violin since I was 9 or 10 years old and have been playing with the orchestra for the past three years. I also enjoy making clothes. I like to make clothes you can’t find in stores, especially men’s shirts.
What part of town do you live in?
Midtown. I love to go to the High Museum and SCAD Fash Museum of Fashion + Film and enjoy anything colorful and artistic. I also love going to Piedmont Park with my dog and taking advantage of free concerts and arts festivals there.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Atlanta when you’re not working?
I love downtown Decatur. I also love visiting my friends that live in Roswell – we call it our “country home.”
What’s your (food) guilty pleasure?
Probably Talenti gelato. I’m addicted to the almond butter and honey flavor.
What’s a day in the life?
I wake up early around 8 a.m. to walk my dog at the dog park. After breakfast, I’ll practice violin for 1.5 hours. If I have to work, I’ll get to the restaurant around 4:15 p.m. and complete various tasks before service including scanning the evening’s reservation list, reviewing the staff list, reviewing and printing menus, stocking the restrooms, straightening up the floor and checking music level. If I’m not working, I’ll work on alterations or a piece of clothing that I’m making in the afternoon.
What celebrity guest at Lure have you been most star struck by?
Julianne Moore – she is one of my favorite actresses. She was so nice and sweet.