News & Events

#FGRFamily Spotlight | Juana Cline

February 21, 2020

#FGRFamily Spotlight | Juana Cline

How did you get into the restaurant industry?

At 24 years old, I bought a brand new car all on my own while working for a big HVAC corporation. The day I went to buy a new car, my office had decided to replace my position with a software program, so I needed a job quickly. I went to Lenox Mall and got a job at Tom Tom Bistro, which closed in 2015, and after that, I also worked at Gold Fish in Perimeter and Noche in the South Highlands area. After my boyfriend and I had saved and taken time off to go on an extended vacation to the beach, we came home to no jobs once again, because the restaurant we were both working at closed. Not long after receiving the news of the closure, a good friend suggested I apply at El Taco, and she helped me land a phone interview. I have been with the company since October 2015.

What is your favorite part about being in the FGR family?

It’s a family. The owners and management are so laid back and cool and our friends. 

What’s your favorite dish and drink?

I don’t know if I can choose a favorite, but I love the diversity and wide range of tacos we offer such as the fried chicken taco and the chef’s pumpkin taco. I think it’s awesome! And for drinks, I love the Rosalita.

Where did you grow up?

I am originally from Costa Rica and am an only child. My mother moved and took us to Gary, Indiana, in the 80’s when I was a little kid. Shortly after, we moved again and settled in Norcross. 

What was your favorite meal as a child?

My abuela’s Puerto Rican rice and bean dish (arroz habichuelas).

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I know the words and lyrics to every single Madonna song ever recorded even though I’m not a good singer, but after a few drinks, I am a rockstar. Also, I have seen Duran Duran 27 times in concert.

Favorite thing to do in Atlanta when not working?

I go to concerts. It’s my guilty pleasure to spend money on. We tend to go to the Earl, Terminal West and Tabernacle. 

Any shows coming up? 

We’re going to see Miranda Lambert in Spokane, Washington, in April as plan to explore the West Coast while we’re there.

What is your food related guilty pleasure?

Nachos. I try them everywhere. Our nachos special is so good. Good sized portions for a group!

What is your favorite travel destination? 

I love to visit friends in Savannah, but my absolute favorite is the Emerald Coast. I love any of the beaches down there in Santa Rosa and Destin. I love to wake up by ocean and see the different shades of blue right from the window.

What’s your favorite band?

So many! Tom Waits, The Pixies and Miranda Lambert. I love Miranda’s honesty and sass. I’ve never met her, but I’m part of her fan club. $20 a year gets you exclusive fan club special tickets and access to the rest of the Miranda fan community.

Who is your favorite chef or mixologist?

Kelly Thorn. I met her at Tom Tom Bistro, and now she works at Empire State South. She has become a bad-ass and one of the top mixologists in Atlanta. A celebrity chef that I like would have to be Gordon Ramsey, because he can be mean as hell but also show wit and humor. And he’s a scorpio like me.

Three adjectives that best describe you?

Fun-loving, zealous and amiable

Who inspires you most in your career?

The people I work with at El Taco. I spend so much time with them and mentored some passionate people. I don’t want to become complacent in my day-to-day rituals, and they push me to do my best.

If you could invite one person, living or dead, to dinner at a FGR, who would you take, where would you take them, and why?

I’d take David Bowie to Ecco Midtown, because its my fave restaurant and has been since before I even started to work for FGR. We would share some Long Live the Queen Gin Cocktails followed by some wine and reminisce over some charcuterie. I’d learn some fashion lessons from him and then show him off to my friends and make them very jealous.