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Meet the Staff: Mike Reichert, Hotel Giraffe

Published: November 22nd, 2014

At the Library Hotel Collection, we are incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderfully enthusiastic team.  Mike Reichert, the front office manager at Hotel Giraffe, is no exception to this rule.  Guests frequently observe how happy our staff is and Mike has a large hand in that.  His personality is infectious.  He’s a great leader and he always has a joke to brighten your mood.  In his 8+ years with our company Mike has trained future front office managers, reservations managers and directors of sales.  He leads by example by combining a strong work ethic with an upbeat attitude.  Mike continues to charm us all with his expansive tales as he so eloquently did in this interview:

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with the Library Hotel Collection.

I was born and raised in a small fishing village on the northern coast of Long Island where my family ran the best mom and pop hardware store around, Northport Hardware.  I started working in the hardware store when I was 8 years old dusting shelves and sweeping for .50 cents an hour.  This is where I began building the rock solid core in the service industry that has blossomed into a wondrous career that I am so thankful for.  Over the next 15 years I surfed around any position in the hospitality industry I could get my mitts on.  I worked as a line cook- jammin’,  pumping out close to 350 breakfasts every morning, slingin hash, flippin’ flap jacks and 86in’ everyone’s hunger pangs.  I worked as a bartender and a server.  I retained supervisor positions at a restaurant and a ‘members only’ country club.  My time at the club was incredibly influential as it allowed me to interact with all of the club members personally … I still keep in touch with some of them!  While I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I soon realized I was ready. It was time for a big move.  So at the ripe age of  26 I packed up my things and headed into the Mecca of all  hospitality, New York City.  After a brief stint in the construction business I reconnected with my long lost friend Chris Truffini.  At this time (and currently) Chris was working at the front desk of the Hotel Elysee on 54th street.  He was able to arrange an interview for me with John Avina, the General Manager.  Right off the bat I knew if I got the job I would be a perfect fit for John and his team.  I got a late Christmas present that year when John called me a few days after the holiday and offered me a position at the front desk.  I accepted with all the excitement of a little child biting into his first sugarplum!  After about a year and a half I was offered the Front Office Manager position and a year and a half ago I moved South on Park Avenue to manage at Hotel Giraffe. Here we are  8 years later, and  boy are they right,  time flies when you’re having fun!

What is your favorite part about working at Hotel Giraffe?

My favorite part about working at Hotel Giraffe are the unforgettable bonds I have made with our wonderful guests and of course my coworkers.  They’re amazing, I couldn’t ask for a better team.

Why do you think travelers should stay at the Library Hotel Collection?

The evening wine and cheese reception!

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? 

My favorite restaurant in the city is definitely Il Mulino located in the heart of NoHo.  I remember the first time I ate there like it was yesterday.  The BEST Italian food I have ever tasted! I went with a friend and their parents and from the moment I walked in the door I was in love.  From the world class wine list to the 5 star service everything at Il Mulino will make it a meal you will never forget.  After a relaxing first course filled with great food and great conversation it was time for the main event.  After perusing the menu and hearing the specials, I was having a very hard time deciding which delicious entree I was going to order.  I finally decided on the Salt Crusted Branzino, one of their daily specials,  a beautiful European Sea Bass.  I’ll never forget the presentation of the dish,  before the rest of the entrees came out, the chef walked out my beautiful fish on a silver platter and presented it to the everyone at the table.  There it was, the whole fish sparkling from the dim light dancing off of the crystalline salt crust.  I believe there’s an old saying that says “Don’t mess with Texas”… well  after this meal I say “Don’t mess with Il Mulino!”  From 1-10, I give it a 73!!

And your favorite place to visit in the city? 

My favorite place in the city is Clems in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Now to the average Joe, Clems appears to be just another one of hundreds of bars in the neighborhood but I assure you there’s a  lot more to this pillar of the community.  Some people might think that Clems is my favorite place because I am the star pitcher on their softball team (I have probably sacrificed 3/4 of my productive time to the team), however there are so many more reasons to love this landmark bar. Now there are plenty of bars that have good drinks and atmosphere but what sets Clems apart from other establishments is the sense of family you get every time you walk in.  One of the regulars, Breeze, often throws impromptu BBQ’s on the sidewalk for all of the patrons and staff and let me tell you he serves up some of the best BBQ in the city!  He even was even recruited by the Rockaway boardwalk to open up a BBQ stand this past summer –Brooklyn Breezey’s BBQ.  Finally there’s THE Clem,  John Clement, who besides running the bar is a very successful sculptor who has works across the United States and abroad.  He also does a lot of charity work with different schools and youth organizations.  Check out some of his work here. Next time you’re in the neighborhood stop in for a drink, tell em’ Stryker sent you!

Hotel Giraffe was named after the favorite animal of our owner, Henry Kallan.  What’s your favorite animal?

My favorite animal is actually an insect, the majestic butterfly.  The butterfly is one of the most emblematic animals symbolizing personal transformation.  The spirit of the butterfly surrounds the ability to go through important changes with grace and lightness.  They’re also beautiful!!!

Thank you, Mike!  We are so lucky to have you on our team!