Jeffrey’s server Johnny Guffey retires, is commemorated with portrait at restaurant

A portrait of longtime Jeffrey's employee Johnny Guffey now hangs in the dining room in which he worked for more than 35 years.
A portrait of longtime Jeffrey’s employee Johnny Guffey now hangs in the dining room in which he worked for more than 35 years.

There may be no more well known Austin service professional than Johnny Guffey. He’s waited on presidents and dignitaries, rock stars and once-a-year special-occasion diners, treating all with the same personalized service.

His smiling visage and big personality are so recognizable that over the four decades of his career in Austin, his named landed in the Statesman’s pages almost a dozen times. Former Statesman food writer Kitty Crider even profiled him in 2005.

The avuncular server retired after service on New Year’s Eve, ending almost 40 years of service at the Austin institution. To commemorate his long career, Jeffrey’s commissioned Austin artist Elizabeth Chapin to paint a wonderful portrait of Guffey. The painting, presented to Guffey on his final shift, now hangs in the room he patrolled for so many years, fittingly known as Johnny’s Room.

 

Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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