The Boss Hog Story
It was Friday, January 18, 8:30pm. At the BLVD Bistro & Bar, there was a group of friends having a reunion at the big corner table where the Marilyn Monroe and James Dean pillows are placed. They talk about their jobs and relationships over a bottle of Fado, a Portuguese wine. On the opposite side, there was a father celebrating his birthday with his son. The father insisted on coming to the BLVD Bistro & Bar because he loves the urban, rustic atmosphere here -- the Makers Mark 46 flight shot a plus. At the communal table sat two girlfriends drinking Sunset BLVDS – large Rego Center shopping bags taking up the space underneath. However, it was the big burly man with school boy glasses sitting at the corner bar table alone that really caught my attention. “Who is this man?” I wonder. “Do I dare approach him to say Hello or will he be annoyed that I distract him from his solitude?” Listening to “Work” by Rihanna play through the speakers and feeling inspired by her lyrics, I decided to “work it” and introduce myself to him. And much to my surprise, Ruben Mitre was extremely friendly and warm.
Enjoying his glass of the 5th edition of The Boss Hog, a unique whiskey blending spiced flavors with American and French influences, our conversation continued. I asked Ruben what brings him to the bar. He said that he was staying at the Wyndham hotel next door and needed a drink or two before he went to bed. When I asked him what brings him to New York, he told me that he was travelling for work -- something he does almost 300 days out of the year. We then talked about our favorite horror shows and movies, bonding over our love for the T.V. series The Twilight Zone and the movie The Exorcist. He even owns a “Talking Tina!”
Of course, a conversation wouldn’t be complete without talking about work. His career journey is truly inspiring. He started his career in California running a deli. Realizing it wasn’t for him, he decided to go to plumbing school. After working as a plumber for a little while, he wanted to change his career again. And so he dropped his plumbing job, and went back to school where he obtained a degree in Engineering. Now, he is a renown HVAC engineer who runs his own engineering firm. What a smart guy.
With our conversation winding down, I ended it asking him what his secret to success was. Ruben put his glasses down and shared his words of wisdom with me. “Failing is not losing” he states. “Failing is a step toward winning. If you haven’t failed and won, you won the lottery. If you failed multiple times, you will eventually win the lottery”. His words are burned into my memory to this day.
Ruben, Salut! You are the BOSS!