“It’s consistency, consistency, consistency,” affirms velvet-voiced Ginger Carter, night manager of Rancho Mirage’s Shame on the Moon, when, upon my last visit, I ask her about the award-winning restaurant’s enduring allure after being in business for more than a quarter-century. “And that’s in all areas: the quality of the food and service, the place looking nice…”
As any regular knows, Ginger herself is part of the stability of which she speaks. She’s been with Shame on the Moon since the very beginning, toiling first as a server before being promoted. She adores greeting habitués and newcomers equally warmly upon arrival, dealing with any issues that may pop up during service, and bidding them a fond farewell upon their departure. “I’m the first one in and the last one out,” she says. Which is why she’s worth her (admirable) weight in gold to owner Milan Tojagic, chef Jorge Villabona, and general manager Casey Hedger.
She’s also universally adored by the eatery’s all-male front-of-house staff, most of whom also have considerable longevity with the company. “We really do have some of the best servers in the Valley,” she boasts. “Johnny, who’s been with us for 15 years, was voted Best Bartender in the Valley a few years ago. Several servers have been with us 10-plus years. Joe, our ‘youngest,’ has been here two years.”
When I wonder what’s kept her in one place so long, Ginger says simply, “I like what I do and I like who I do it for. It’s about taking care of the guests and my staff. Simple as that.” But surely she must be thinking of retirement by now. “Oh, my God,” she spurts. “I don’t have enough money to retire!”
So I guess we can all thankfully count on Ginger happily being the “face of the Moon” for the foreseeable future.