Al Groos

A Man Of Style Who Matches His Colorful Cufflinks With His Ties
JUDI BOTTONI
Al Groos, general manager of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, shows off his unique cufflinks made by Atlanta jewelry maker Evette Everett, who sells her designs near the Congo Stage each year during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. A collector of cufflinks with over 100 in his collection, Al’s favorites are the colorful ones Evette makes that feature colored stones and unique shapes. To further showcase his glass cufflinks, he matches each set with a colorful tie.

Al Groos visits the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival each year for more than the music. When the busy general manager of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street gets to Jazz Fest, he heads straight to the craft booths near the Congo Stage in search of Evette Everett from Atlanta to check out her current collection of cufflinks.

“I have hundreds of sets of cufflinks and my favorites are the colorful cufflinks Evette makes that feature colored stones and unique shapes,” he says.

A stylish gentleman known for always being well dressed, Al says he enjoys matching the colored stones in his cufflinks with his ties: “The combination is a perfect match for me since I like bright colorful ties that light up the room. I get comments about my cufflinks matching my ties all the time.” Then he smiles and adds: “I don’t want to be boring, so I use my colored cufflinks and bright ties to brighten up my suits.’

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Al came to New Orleans to work for the Royal Sonesta after receiving his degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. “I was hired as a management trainee,” he says. “Most of my career has been spent right here at what I feel is one of the finest hotels in New Orleans. Today I enjoy each day creating new ways to make our associates happy and provide new and better services to the variety of guests we serve.”

Al says he has especially enjoyed working with the ownership to create the partnership that has made what he feels is the very best food and beverage and entertainment offerings in New Orleans, then he recites an overview of what the Royal Sonesta offers today: “Restaurant R’evolution, is a great partnership with noted chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, offering fantastic fine dining; the Desire Oyster Bar is known for its fresh and charbroiled oysters and great casual New Orleans food; PJ’s Coffee Cafe has that genuine New Orleans coffee experience; and Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, a partnership with the hotel and Irvin Mayfield, provides some of the best New Orleans Jazz available in the city in a great club setting.”

He is quick to mention that the Royal Sonesta is the best place to be during the Carnival Season. “It’s the most challenging time of the year for us,” he says. “And Mardi Gras Day is the most amazing day when our staff always does an outstanding job of taking care of our guests that includes some of the top national media filming from our balcony overlooking Bourbon Street.”

It is easy to see why Al feels his interesting jobs calls for attire that isn’t boring. “I am already looking forward to the next Jazz Fest to see what new cufflinks Evette will bring to sell,” he says. “When I first met her she was only making square designs. Now she says she thinks of me and intentionally varies the shapes and colors so that I will have a variety of new cufflinks to choose from when she visits the next time. One of the great things about dealing with her is that if I have any problems with any of her cufflinks, I simply send them to her and she repairs them at no charge.”

 

 

 

Categories: Business Style

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