Eddie Agramonte Discusses Business, Life in Tallahassee

Eddie Agramonte Discusses Business, Life in Tallahassee

Eddie Agramonte, local restaurant owner of Gordos and Bumpa’s, recently appeared on The Steve Stewart Show to discuss his restaurant business and life in Tallahassee.

Eddie first came to Tallahassee in 1991, and opened his first restaurant, Gordos, on Pensacola Street in 1996. When asked when he realized his restaurant was going to do well in business, Eddie remarked that it was helpful that there wasn’t a Cuban restaurant in Tallahassee at the time. However, he further explained that he always knew he would make it and was prepared to do whatever it took, stating, “I guess I knew from the beginning, I’m not somebody who is going to fail … I’ll sleep there if I have to. I’m not going to give up.”

He opened another Gordos on the northeast side of town in Market Square with the goal of feeding the “adults” who frequented the Pensacola street location while attending FSU.

When asked about opening his second restaurant Bumpa’s, Eddie explained he saw an opportunity to open when the old CJ’s building on Northeast Capital Circle became available. He decided to open a sports bar because he said there had not been one on that side of town for many years.

While discussing hardship through the 2008 recession, Eddie explained that during the financial crisis he began to a wait-tables at Gordos and used his tip money to pay bills. “But what this really did was put me back in the store to see what needed to be tightened up, what needed to be finetuned, what needed to be fixed and how we could grow from this situation.” Eddie stated.

He also noted that he began catering through the recession after realizing he could make money before the restaurant was open. “By 11 o’clock I had already fed 35 people, then I fed 50 people, then 100 people, then 200 people before I opened the store,” he said.

Eddie noted that his restaurants were not equipped for solely doing pick-ups and to-go during the Covid pandemic. He said during this time, he went to Best Buy and bought three burner phones (one for each restaurant) and “I had three people working phones getting food ready to go, running it out to the cars, and it just kept us going.”

Additionally, Eddie noted one thing that was helpful to sustain his business though Covid was Governor Ron DeSantis allowing restaurants to sell liquor to-go. Eddie stated, “We have something people are fond of called the Gordos Smash. And we’d put them in a gallon jug and people would come pick them up and go.”

When discussing his views on Tallahassee after being a resident for 30 plus years, Eddie noted that people’s kindness in Tallahassee stood out to him stating, “You walk by somebody and they say hello and you say hello back.” He continued, “Everybody smiles, everybody’s kind, not everyone is trying to reach into your pocket … that’s how this town is, what it is, it’s a kind place.”

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