For almost five years, SunBird’s Restaurant and Bar Manager Julie Mathis has served residents and the public. Not only have the sales and number of customers increased in that time, she has overseen the expansion of the kitchen, increased hours of service and added trivia nights.
Julie hires, trains and schedules a staff of up to 25, plans menus and orders food and beverages and serves many groups and events. Before SunBird, Julie worked at eight Applebee’s restaurants in the area.
What do customers say?
Chuck Warren, resident of over 25 years who has met several managers, says, “I think Julie is doing a good job.” “Julie is the best manager we’ve had in my time here,” said Tina Gossling, snowbird from Saskatchewan, Canada.
“Meme from the bar is the best!” says Wally Krill, former owner of 10 years, returns to eat breakfast here three or four times a week. “Everything is very good, help is friendly, Julie is friendly with everybody.”
Snowbird John Cox from Minnesota said the St. Patrick’s Day dinner was terrific, especially the apple pie. His wife said the same about a Garden Club brunch.
Snowbirds Donna Wolff and her cousin Lorraine Beil from South Dakota like that they can walk to the restaurant, as they have no car here. They appreciate Julie’s hard work ethic, energy and friendliness to all.
John Cox, seasonal resident from Minnesota, says his meals on St. Patrick’s Day and his wife’s at the Garden Club were terrific!
Don Galusha, a year-round resident for 12 years, says he has a beer every day and sometimes takes a lunch home. “The guys and girls are very friendly and responsive to people.”
Ordering two malts and two fried to-go for lunch at home with his wife was Gil Knutson. They have three adult children living here (one comes for the onion rings). They like to meet here for lunch, and he reserves a table for Sunday brunch. “The food is great, and we love the outside seating. Spend over $200 a month here. We come here to see people we might not otherwise see.” As a former HOA board member, he knows that the restaurant is an amenity and praises the management for better profits than similar area restaurants.
Earl Walker, wearing his SunBird shirt, enjoys socializing over a beer many days after a round of golf. Many of us recognize him as the velvet voice performing here and singing elsewhere, such as at a funeral or the Chandler Center of Arts.