Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Rico Beetle

Rico is serving a "Beer and a Buddy" - Guinness and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey
Rico is serving a “Beer and a Buddy” – Guinness and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey

O’Connell’s Restaurant & Pub
112 King Street
Old Town Alexandria

How did you get started in the bar tending business?
Shortly after I got out of the Navy I took a job working service bar at a very large restaurant. Here is where I pretty much learned to make all the drinks according to recipe specifics. After a bit I was moved to main bar. Here is where I cultivated my customer service skills.

What is your bartender pet peeve?
My pet peeve at the bar is rude, mean people. You can be picky or demanding, but if you are rude to me or the others around you then you can …leave.

Do you have a funny pick up line you’ve heard that you can share with us?
Best pickup lines are always just someone being sincere in asking ” Hi, how are you “? I think the days of ” what’s your sign “? are over.

What have patrons done to try to get a free drink from you?
Free drinks are a ” thank you ” from your bartender. They are earned through faithful patronage, good behavior and favorable gratuity.

Can you tell us a funny story?
There is a bar in Los Angeles, down the street from my cousins house. Anyway, whenever I go out there to visit we always stop in, and it’s always the same..a dingy, hole in the wall with a small karaoke stage and 3 passed out old men at the end of the bar. When it comes time for a Carlos P. to sing his song, one of the old men wakes up, stumbles to the stage and belts out the most perfect rendition of ” Me and Misses Jones “!  When he’s done, he can barely make it back to his stool where he promptly passes out again. Funny, cause it’s true!

Who would you most like to have a drink with?
I would most like to have a drink with Jesus, after all, he can turn water into wine. We’ll never go dry. =)

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Written by: Chester Simpson
Photo Credit and Copyright © Chester Simpson

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