It was a little bittersweet for William Maestas, learning he had been named Best Wait Staff & Service just as the restaurant he worked at, Café Vino in Fort Collins, was being shut down again due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Maestas, like many of his brethren in the food industry, was furloughed in late November when Governor Polis decreed restaurants would no longer be able to have indoor dining due to the rise in coronavirus numbers in Colorado. The statewide mandate came just days before we released the results of our Best Of survey, naming Maestas as Northern Colorado’s favorite waiter.
“I was furloughed about a week and a half before I found out I won, but I was excited to hear the news! My general manager at Café Vino, Mark Havens, sent me a ‘congratulations’ text on December 1. It was so nice to find out,” said Maestas.
Waiting tables is a side hustle for Maestas, but one he is exceptionally good at. “I have been here so long; I feel like friends with a lot of people [who come into Café Vino].” “He is such an easy-going personality; he just makes connections with people,” says Café Vino co-worker Kayla Romero.
Maestas has worked full time at CaféVino for the past five years, until the lower occupancy numbers imposed by COVID after the initial shutdown cut into his hours. In the meantime, he was also picking up shifts at CopperMuse Distillery. He has been furloughed from there as well.
Maestas is also an entrepreneur. His company, William Maestas Productions, is an event and photography firm that helps execute large scale events, especially those with a fashion focus. His foray into fashion started when he was a student at the Art Institute of Colorado and began interning at 303 Magazine to help with Denver Fashion Week (DFW).
With plenty of downtime, Maestas is hard at work on his own business. “Recently, I’ve been trying to grow my production and photography business by redesigning and adding content to my website. I’ve also been doing more photo shoots and trying to get published in fashion magazines. I am also scouting locations for future productions and always looking for new opportunities.”
Maestas is a co-producer for The Beauty Underground, part of DFW, and has coordinated Fluid: Manitou Fashion Show, Blush: A Fashion Engagement, Current: A Runway for our River and, most recently, Extinguished: A Fundraiser for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation events. Maestas’ dream project is to create a Northern Colorado Fashion Week that resembles Denver’s.
In the meantime, Maestas is waiting out the pandemic like many, hopeful to go back to work at Café Vino soon and catch up with his regulars, while looking forward to a (hopefully) busy 2021 event season.