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This new Söntés Inside Out Series will highlight the things you may not know about the person bringing you that amazing lunch or dinner experience.  From background and awards to what they do in their off time, we’re spilling the secrets about the person with the tray… beginning with J.R.

Jeffrey “J.R.” Ryan has been with Söntés from the very beginning, and over the years has served, bartended, managed, hosted, and everything in between. With J.R. at the helm, lunch and dinner turn into an event as he navigates guests through the menu with care, charisma, and a touch of panache. Here is what you may not know about him:JR

In his own words: “I was bitten by the theater bug early.”

J.R. is currently a “solid’ presence (as noted by Tom Webber in his recent review) on the Rochester Repertory Theatre stage. J.R. plays Alan in God of Carnage, which runs through this weekend at 8 p.m. nightly. Bring your ticket stub to Söntés tonight or tomorrow (March 22 & 23) and receive 10% off your entire check!poster

God of Carnage, a Tony Award-winning play written by Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton, is the story of a “playground altercation between 11-year-old boys that brings two sets of Brooklyn parents together for a meeting to resolve the matter… [A]s the meeting progresses, the rum flows, tensions emerge, and the gloves come off,” according to the Repertory Theater website. Tickets are $20.

~Interview with Jeffrey Ryan~

Where were you born?

New Jersey.

Childhood memories?

I grew up in Massachusetts and went to a trade high school where I received certification for design/drafting/engineering.


I won the typing award and the Super Senior award.


I edited the Yearbook and school newspaper. I placed in the Top 10 at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) competition.


I moved to New York at the age of 21 and lived there for 8 years. I worked in a cannery making the jam/jelly and syrups for the canned fruits for three years, did upholstery work for five years, and did some time as one of those people at the airport with a sign picking up people and driving them through New York City.

I moved to Missouri and lived there for five years, working in a restaurant by day and as a radio DJ by night.

I started working in Yellowstone National Park (WY) in 2002 as a Server, and finished in 2009 as the Manager of Dining Room Operations for the entire Park. When I did that, I spent my off seasons here in Rochester.

Unusual Experiences?

I have flipped a few houses here in Rochester over the past few years and am always looking for the next investment in that regard.Denver


I have a little toy rat terrier named Denver who loves the sunshine, chewy toys, and loves to travel in the car.

What else do very few people know about you?

I’m very shy and reserved, a home body when not “on.”


More of the Söntés Inside Out Series to come!

Written by Jody Brown. For more information on Jody, see our Who We Are page.