Me and Shrimp
Here are a few facts about Caliente you might not have known:
1) We are the first business in this building (that was previously blighted) after Hurricane Katrina. Caliente remodeled our location in 2007. It had been left to stain Hardy Street for two years before we came to the rescue.
2) I (Charles), the owner and founder of Caliente Grille, have never had another full-time job other than Caliente. In fact, I only worked in one other restaurant for a few months prior to opening Caliente.
3) Caliente Grille is a totally original concept. There are not other locations. There is no corporate headquarters. Its a through and through Hattiesburg original.
4) Before deciding to create Caliente, I looked into opening franchises with a similar concept. They all told me that Hattiesburg was not a market they wanted to be in. They said Hattiesburg did not have the right population or demographic. Needless to say, it took them a few years, but a national franchise finally got smart and moved to the 'Burg... and they just so happened to move in just a few feet away.
5) Other than myself, Caliente has one other employee that has been a team member since the very beginning. Carlton Roberts (aka Shrimp) is the Assistant Manager that works some weekday nights and Saturday and Sunday days. He is far and away one of the most naturally gifted customer service professionals I have ever seen. At least four times a month I get a compliment about Carlton and how nice he is to our customers.
6) There is one light in the lobby that has never worked.
7) There is one light in the customer line that has never worked.
8) The sinks in our bathroom are handmade by Mr. Bruce Lang. They were a gift. They are far and away the coolest sinks in town.
9) Caliente used to have a parking lot on both sides of our building. Now Ross Blvd. runs along the West side of the building.
10) There is no freezer or microwave at Caliente. When you cook food from scratch, there is no real need for either of those.
Just thought you all would be interested in some random Caliente facts.