'David Your Waiter,' Ready To Take Your Order
Tastee Diner waiter entertains his customers with his vibrant outfits and quirky sense of humor.
When visiting the Tastee Diner, there are a couple of cliché sights: teens from local high schools, drunks or, depending on the time of day, hung-over people. Not exactly groups prone to enjoy a zealous wait staff.
But David LeMar is the exception. With 53-year-old LeMar, an enthusiastic personality is only the beginning. Dressed to the nines in vibrant colored shirts, pants, bow ties, shoes and suspenders, LeMar puts on a show for his customers, entertaining them with comedy and the colorful oversized pens he uses to take orders.
Since he began working at the diner in 2000, LeMar has referred to himself as “David Your Waiter” because it’s how he’s always introduced himself to customers. Last December, he took his waiter persona to new heights, building a website to post pictures of his eclectic outfits and offering a way for fans to contact him outside the restaurant.
Even though LeMar, who also works at H&R Block, got his degree in mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park, he doesn’t want to be anything other than a waiter. Bethesda Patch spoke with him to discover more about the exuberant character.
Patch: How did you come up with the “David Your Waiter” character?
David LeMar: I had a big pen and one day I said to myself, “Hey I should use this to take orders.” I picked it up and it seemed like something in the Superman movie when the crystal called to him. Customers told me to keep it up and then I decided I wanted to wear different colors to match the pens.
The pen took over. I’ve collected over 250 pens that interchange depending on what outfit I’m wearing. I mix them all up, but usually only wear two colors at time, like baby blue and green. On the Fourth of July, of course, I had to wear three colors: red, white and blue. When I wear T-shirts, I try to wear hats with them, and if the pants are white then Chuck Taylors for shoes. I try to have the shirt match the apron or shoes. A lot of people wish they could have this much fun at work.
Patch: Why do you prefer taking orders with the larger pens?
DL: If you’re going to have a shtick you better look the part. It lets the customer know that they’ll be entertained. I really do it all for the audience, because the show must go on. And if I make someone forget their worries just for the moments they are being served well, then I have done a wonderful thing. Dressing and acting the way I do brightens people's day and they reward me more than they normally would, so why wouldn't I like that?
Patch: How did you accumulate all of the different outfits you wear?
DL: Sometimes I have to paint shoes to match the outfits. Recently, I ordered canvas shoes so they’re easier and so much faster to paint now. Sometimes I put stickers on them. I have about a hundred pairs of shoes which take up a lot of space, so there’s a big room outside my bedroom that I turned into a walk-in closet, but it’s not as organized as I wish it was.
When I order bright colored stuff a lot of it’s on clearance because no one else wants them, so it’s not expensive.
Patch: What message are you trying to send with the “David Your Waiter” character?
DL: I think men should be wearing more colors. The girls wear lots of colors because they like it, so they like to see me in it. They wish more men would do it.
You see all these bright colors for kids. When I tried to get some fancy colored shoes, all I wanted were things in the kids’ section where they have everything, including light-up shoes. They stop at size seven, but I’m a 12. Hopefully I’m starting a trend.