Old Hickory Steakhouse
National Harbor, MD
Caption: Joseph concocts his famous “Passion Punch”
How did you get started in the bartending business?
I first started bartending at Applebee’s in 1998 because there was a girl that I liked that worked there. I stayed in the business because it has a lively atmosphere, you can make a lot of money and you meet a lot of nice people. I began working at Gaylord National Resort when it opened in 2008 and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since!
What is your biggest bartender pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people who are sitting at the bar try to help the people behind them get a drink. There is a process as to how we provide service to our customers. They think they are helping, but they are not.
What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink?
There was an attractive girl who told me she would give me her phone number for a drink. I told her that she could buy the first drink and depending on things went, I would buy the second.
What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar?
It is hard to think of a GOOD pickup line, but the worst one was when a guy asked a girl: “Can I have your number? I lost mine.”
Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s).
There was one time when I was working at the Belvedere Lobby Bar and a young man came in and was acting really nervous. I saw that he had a box in his hand and he told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend. I wanted to help him out, so I got my manager and asked him to get some cake and champagne so we could put the ring in the bottom of the glass. I then recorded the proposal on the guy’s phone. It was one of those experiences I’ll always remember.
If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be?
I would say Jesus, but I feel like we talk all the time! So, I would then say Muhammad Ali because he had a great presence in both boxing and the world. He was someone who stood up for what he believed in and that is a person after my own heart.
Joseph is behind the bar at Old Hickory Steakhouse on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m.
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