Behind the Bar: Alfonso Carnucci
Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza
401 East Braddock Road
How did you get started in the bartending business?
My grandmother used to have a restaurant so I was brought up with this industry by my side my entire life. I must have been 21 when the restaurant I was working at in Baltimore needed an extra hand behind the bar and I jumped in. It wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but it got me through school and I’m still having fun doing it to this day.
What is your biggest bartender pet peeve?
People need to be ready with what they want to order, even if it’s just a menu for the moment. Ideally, they should have a preferred drink, a back-up plan for places that don’t have full bars, and a universal drink that every bar has.
What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink?
My former wife told me when we met that she would marry me if I’d buy her a drink. She is a knockout and certainly good for her word!
What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar?
Nothing will ever beat this – one specific Tuesday night I got to witness a guy sing a karaoke song in order to get the phone number of a girl in which he was interested. I later found out it worked perfectly. Hopefully they’re still together…..
Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s).
The story is longer than what I’m going to reveal so I’ll briefly paraphrase. A regular of mine was seen “releaving herself” on the top floor of the parking garage above where I once worked. I’m not sure if she lost a bet, was mad at me, or just had to go. I went back to work the next day and it was gone. Still not sure who took it or where it went.
If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be?
Easy. Shakira. Word on the street is that her hips don’t lie and I’m a fan of honesty. Plus I’m curious as to what she’d drink.
Alfonso concocts his Sicilian Spritzer! Stolichnaya Ohranj vodka, Blood orange puree, ginger ale, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and a basil garnish!
Alfonso is behind the bar both days and nights with the exception of Sunday and Thursday evenings.