To begin, it should be understood that although Uncle Jimmy’s is not an upscale Italian bar where one can go to immerse themselves into the Italian culture, does not mean it isn’t a place to check out. Many students come 3,000 miles away from home to study abroad. That is a brave step all in its own. Familiarity with a bar or restaurant they’ve never been to, can surely make the experience easier and in many situations even better, mixing their study abroad experience with some small hints of home along the way.
‘Uncle Jimmy’s, a home away from home’ (located on via de’ Pescioni 5/r) is the pay off they use to brand their establishment. Letting students know, that no matter what happens during their long stay here, there’s always an escape to make them feel like they’re back at their college campus. It may not appeal to many people who believe students should not be wasting their time at a dive bar that resembles home, when they are to be learning the culture here in Italy (which in many ways makes sense), but who’s to tell them they aren’t allowed to miss home. Finding a place that gives them the fun and comfort they need to bring on the nostalgia, only makes them feel like this new country is a home of its own for them.
Uncle Jimmy’s bar and its staff are always there to cater to the students in the best way, not only treating them like family, but keeping them safe and looking out for the students while in the bar. The staff believes in engagement with customers, creating memories and experiences that they will never forget. Unfortunately, Italy being behind on its standard of hospitality, makes it hard for students to get those memories and experiences from bars and restaurants run with an Italian mentality on customer service.
Most reviews on travel sites such as Trip Advisor or Yelp, show that for a dive bar, people aren’t reviewing the condition or look of the bar as much as they are reviewing the staff. All reviews about the staff are nothing but positive, giving shout outs left and right about their favorite bartender and the amazing gift of experience said bartender had given them. This shows that in doing what they love and exerting that to the customers, they don’t need an upscale look to create a good atmosphere, they do it in the way they treat people and show them they truly care about their time in the bar and in Florence. This is a skill you cannot teach, it is something that comes from hiring the right people with these natural abilities to make your bar, restaurant, store etc. unique above the rest, regardless to its physical image and condition.
Not to say that Uncle Jimmy’s doesn’t have its own unique look, it has a very Irish pub style facade with the American college atmosphere; beer pong tables, live sports playing year round, signatures covering all the walls, not to mention the signed underwear and college shirts draping from the ceiling. As gritty as that sounds, it has a fun, party type look to it. Such a look may not be for everyone, but for the 5,000 students here each semester it’s perfection at its finest.
Uncle Jimmy official website: www.unclejimmys.it
Article written during the course “e-marketing for the hospitality industry” held by Professor Marco De La Pierre
by Cristian Diletti – Hospitality student at FUA