Graziela Portela is the sassy bartender to be found serving up the drinks at Agua in Galleria Plaza. This fresh and exciting addition to the restaurant scene boasts a relaxing lounge area that sits betwixt the indoor and outdoor dining spaces, which is where you’ll find a very welcoming and social bar. Open since the last quarter of 2009, Agua has become one of the hippest hotspots on the scene, and right in the heart of the action you’ll find Graziela.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Graziela got her first job when she was 18 years old. Although she had discovered a passion for photography in school, it was the retail industry that provided easy employment, and so she began working at a shop in a mall selling clothes. Two years later Graziela wanted to move on to different places and experiences, and so she travelled to Sao Paulo where she soon got hired as a server in a Pizza place called Piola. She enjoyed the job so much that she stayed there for a number of years before spending a year with the Santa Gula restaurant, and then another year at the Outback Steakhouse.
By now, thanks to her interaction with English-speaking tourists, Graziela felt confident enough with the language to travel abroad. She had a friend living in the Cayman Islands who highly recommended the islands, and so bags in hand, she hopped on a plane and flew across the sea to Caribbean lands. Graziela landed in Grand Cayman in September 2007, and instantly felt at home.
After bringing her considerable skills to server and bartender positions at a couple of popular local haunts, she had the opportunity to join the staff opening a new venture in the middle of the Seven Mile strip. She accepted the position of bartender at Agua and has been happily working there ever since, building up a loyal group of regulars with more joining every week.
Graziela has the perfect personality for the service industry. She is personable, professional and takes great pride in her work. She loves meeting different people on a daily basis, and socializing with customers who have become friends. There’s nothing she likes better than inventing drinks on the fly, and she’s very good at it, employing a natural gift for mixing flavours in just the right proportions. She is always eager to learn new tricks, and why not? She’s hardly an old dog! Get it? Old dog? New tricks…?
When asked if she’ll stick with bartending for the foreseeable future, she’s of two minds. She really enjoys her job, but she still has that yearning to follow further studies in photography. Who knows? Maybe she can combine the two! Now THAT would be a coffee table book worth buying!
Stop by and visit Graziela today at Agua. Come for the food and stay for the drinks – delicious in any language! WH