Server who knew Woody Allen and Brooke Shields is successful in Nazaré – NiT

In Nazaré there is a waiter like few others – and everyone who knows him knows it. On information and opinion platforms on food-related content, few restaurants are commented on more for their service than for the dishes themselves, but this is the case of Taverna 8 or 80.

There, just in front of the beach, those who enter do not take long to realize who is the star of the house. “Mr. Paulo is the master of service,” read one of the comments. Adjectives such as “five star”, “super helpful”, “amazing”, “caring” and “dedicated” are also frequently used.

“He knows that in restaurants, there are no second chances to create a good first opinion. And the people who come to these places are often out of their homes and need to feel welcome,” he begins by telling NiT.

Paulo Pisco is 58, fluent in five languages ​​and knows everything about football. He says he’s simply ‘a Benfica fanatic and a good guy’.

He is at the door to greet customers and is never shy when it comes to speaking English. Is that, even if today it’s more a kind of “public relations, receiving people, talking, joking a little and so on”, he was once a bartender and took care of other projects (before it’s like saying “behind the counter”).

“I started working during the summer holidays at the age of 12 at the Hotel da Nazaré. I come from modest families, so I would go there to help around the house and buy some things. I started out as a housekeeper, washing glasses, floors, sweeping. It was humble work. 45 years ago, it wasn’t just in Bangladesh, it was here too,” he says with a smile.

In 1983, when he finished 12th grade, and with no money to go to college, he became permanent at the hotel. But he didn’t stay there long. “The owner of the hotel loved me, Mr. Henrique Batista, and he, in November 1983, sent me to hotel management school.”

At a time when we didn’t even hear about it, as he tells us, Paulo went to Lisbon to take a course as a waiter, bartender and oenologist. Back in Nazaré, he decides to take a new step. “The pay here wasn’t great and since I was young I managed to get myself a job on cruises.”

On September 24, 1984, he arrived at Miami airport in the United States, alone and with only one suitcase. “They took me to the docks and said ‘you’re going to work here’.” And he stayed there until 1996. Every two months they left Miami and went on a world tour that lasted about 60 days. At the end of this time, they returned, moored for a week to replenish the stock and rest. And they repeated it over and over again.

“I did three tours in a row, six months, then the other six went on vacation to Portugal. It was a very good experience,” he says.

However, Paulo does not hide that he started from the bottom. He washed glasses, took stock at the bar, walked around, and only after a year did he get up. The invitation to start running the bar came when the bartender, who was Italian, retired and the bartender, who was Mexican, got married. At 21, Pisco then became a bartender. And so the adventure began.

“It was a lot of work. At the time, I slept between three and five hours, depending. Then there was a lot of partying along the way. Yes, it seems that everything was not bad. After all , Paulo’s job was also to entertain customers – and, on a cruise like this, where only millionaires went, he ended up meeting quite a few celebrities and movie stars.

Woody Allen, Brooke Shields, Gene Hackman are just a few of the many stars present. “A lot of famous people went there, because it was very expensive for the time. And life 35 years ago was completely different.

Many of the stories that Paulo only tells at dinner parties are kept secret. “Working on a boat is offshore. Very strange things are happening,” he says. “You see a Latin boy, young, working in a bar, and then these American ladies and such, it was just forrobodó. I had to flee, almost.

In one night, the young man was able to earn a thousand dollars. Not that the company paid well. No. According to the bartender, Pacific only gave $50 a week for tax purposes. Especially because he knew the employees would earn a lot in tips.

“The bar where I worked was open from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m., because we were traveling at night. In the morning, we docked at any port, the passengers had breakfast and left to visit the city. But a lot of them stayed at the bar until five in the morning – and after midnight it started to get a little silly, a little silly. There were even competitions to see who could give the most tips and such. There were those oil people, those millionaires, man. At three o’clock in the morning, they asked for whiskey, then they told me to drink with them, but they gave me 100 or 200 dollars. It was absurd. They didn’t even know what they were doing. They were also millionaires — and we took advantage of that,” he told NiT.

When he could, Paulo also left the boat to visit the towns where they docked. He says he really liked the southern hemisphere, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Seychelles, South Africa and Rio. Leaving from Miami, it always passed through the Panama Canal: in summer, it headed towards the northern hemisphere, in winter, towards the south. “We were always chasing the sun.”

In 1996, however, that life came to an end. “I got married that year and it was not the life of a married man. It was already too much for me. Any day he would break out. He then returned to Nazaré – where he claims having fun so far.

He went through Casalinho, through Bojador, in what used to be Taberna da Praia, but is now called Tabernassa, and is now in Taverna 8 or 80. “I like it, every two or three years I looking for something different, to break the routine. But we were all friends anyway.

As we speak, the cell phone keeps ringing. “See? It doesn’t stop. It’s too much.” It’s just that everyone wants to steal the server. “There are almost no more waiters in Nazaré. Only one or two. And then, at my age, I already have a certain status — come on, if I may say so. I don’t have any inspirations, but I know people know me. People always ask me. ‘Oh, Paulo, when you get out of here, come here’. Mainly on vacation. Is very. Sometimes I arrive here at the restaurant, I go down there on my scooter, I park next to it and they are waiting for me.

Even on the beach, the list of celebrities that the professional has met has continued to grow. By the way, Paulo has been in this restaurant since April 2021, but it was only then that he already served Teresa Guilherme – who “divided him with courageous dryness”, but whom he loved a lot – the American ambassador, who went there to have dinner with Garrett McNamara, has already not mentioned the various footballers.

Now the idea is to continue — I don’t know where. “I work wherever I want and now I’m here. Let’s see what the future will tell us.

Then, click on the gallery to get to know Paulo Batista better and discover some of the personalities he has already served.

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