Meet Ally Vrbas, Director of Hospitality and Events at Pillar Restaurant Group (

Tell us a little about your business. – The Pillar Restaurant Group is a locally owned company established in 1999 with four main concepts: Venue Restaurant & Lounge, Piedmont Bistro by Venue, Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs and Venue Catering and Events. We proudly cater out of our incredible private event rooms and some of the most beautiful spaces in Downtown Lincoln, including the Jasmine Room by Venue and the Scottish Rite Building. Inside the restaurants, we offer a variety of services such as Venue at Home, Venue Bakery, Venue Blends and Venue Butchery. I highly recommend checking them out!

How did you get started in the business? – I found my passion for customer service at the age of sixteen while waitressing at my small hometown bar and grille. I continued to waitress and host throughout college. Ironically, my first job in Lincoln was hosting for Venue Restaurant & Lounge. Once I graduated, I experienced another side of the industry through hospitality, but made my way back to restaurants.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Cultivating employees. It’s fulfilling to watch your team grow personally and professionally throughout their career.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Becoming a parent has been the biggest turning point in my life. You feel a deeper love than you have ever felt and learn a new level of patience.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Enjoy a cup of coffee while playing with my child, take a nice long walk, work out and end the evening by binging something on Hulu.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I love to hike! My goal is to visit every National Park in the United States. Denali National Park has been my favorite so far. We are taking our first trip as a family of three to Yellowstone in September.

Who inspires you? – My late babysitter Trudy, who was like a grandma to me. She raised the kids to be kind, work hard and bake with love.

What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa. This quote was my graduation quote and sticks true to this day.

If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Passionate; to approach situations with your full heart and mind.

Which talent would you most like to have? – Dancing!

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – I would become a personal trainer. I would love to educate and encourage people to work towards their fitness goals.

What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach. Their dedication to serving food to those that might not be able to eat otherwise hits close to my heart!

What is your favorite movie?Sweet Home Alabama. I am a sucker for a 2000’s romcom.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – I would love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at