Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I Ever Met – Part 3 – The Interview

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite movie?

 

Lauren: Almost Famous.

 

Phicklephilly: Good one. Have you created any signature drinks at Stratus?

 

Lauren: Yes. i brought a grapefruit gin fizz to stratus. I love to make it for our clients. It’s deliciocious.  You should let me make you one, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: Let’s make that happen, Lauren.

 

Lauren: Sounds good, Charles. (smiles)

 

Phicklephilly: What brought you to Stratus, Lauren?

 

Lauren: I was working at another venue and someone scouted me on Facebook and they hire me.

 

Phicklephilly: You had mentioned Nursing in our initial meetings.

 

Lauren: I’m not going there.

Phicklephilly: Let’s quickly and deftly switch gears here, dear. What are your thoughts on the world of mixology?

 

Lauren: I’ve never referred to myself as a mixologist, not that I don’t get creative behind the bar. There are so many aspects…. technical, personality, and creativity. When I think of the word mixology i just think of mixing drinks. I’m a bartender and being a mixologist is only a small part of what I do on a daily basis.

 

Phicklephilly: Which do you prefer?

 

Lauren: Bartender for sure.

 

Phicklephilly: How has the job changed since you began, Lauren?

Lauren: When I first started there were new technical things I had to learn. But now I can focus on the more creative and elegant aspects of my job.

 

Phicklephilly: How have you changed since you started?

 

Lauren: Oh, I was really naive at first. I definitely never realized that it’ a whole show. I was always affable but every part of the job i a performanance. The more I do it the more I see it as a career. I’ve met so many people that are on so many levels of the industry.

 

Phicklephilly: What do you see trending now in the way of drinking?

 

Lauren: Oh my gosh….Fireball! We don’t serve it but the kids love it!

 

Phicklephilly: Best customer?

 

Lauren: Best is on a Friday night. They know what they want, the money is out and we make it happen. Weekdays… social… try new drinks. I love a client that wants to try new things!

Phicklephilly: Worst?

 

Lauren: Someone snapping in my face: “what’s your cheapest and strongest drink?”

 

Phicklephilly: Ooh brutal. What’s the bst tip  you ever got?

 

Lauren: I was bartendeing with another employee and she didn’t want the table. It was outside on the deck and I took it. It was was my first ever. The bill was $50 and the tip was $300!!!

 

Phicklephilly: Have you served any celebrities?

 

Lauren: Yes. Several athletes. I don’t remember their names. I once served Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company at Stratus.

 

Phicklephilly: Nice! Where can we find you on the other side of the rail?

Lauren: Morgan’s Pier down on the river. Outdoor, sunny skies and by the water. Very chill and a fun place to be in the summer. I also like North Shore Beach. Again, it’s a low key bar with a pool in the city where I can chill and relax.

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite color?

 

Lauren: Purple. I’ve always felt purple, but when it comes to clothes, I love the color black.

Phicklephilly: Black is slimmimg, not that you need it.

 

Lauren. You’re funny.

 

Phicklephilly: Who is your favorite actor/actress?

 

Lauren: No idea, but again, Lucille Ball.

 

Phicklephilly: She is and was amazing. The first of her kind. What’s your favorite beer, wine and cocktail?

Lauren: Victory Summer Love, Yards Saison, and Savignion Blanc. It’s so light and refreshing!

 

Phicklephilly: I LOVE Victory Summer Love in Spring and Summer too!”

 

Lauren: It’s SO good!

 

Phicklephilly: Do you consider yourself a salesperson at Stratus?

 

Lauren: I would consider myself an honest person. I will stand behind something I truly feel is great. If you don’t like what I made for you, I’ll make you something else.

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite food?

 

Lauren: Sushi. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

Phicklephilly: Have you ever had to memorize a load of drinks?

 

Lauren: Every night, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: What is the most stressful… worst job you’ve ever had?

Lauren: Working at a nightclub where I had keys and it was just a crazy scene. (I should have gone deeper here)

 

Phicklephilly: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

 

Lauren: Hopefully with a college degree and in a career I’m passionate about.

 

Phicklephilly: Who is your role model?

 

Lauren: Lucille Ball. (Wow… again)

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your super power, Lauren?

 

Lauren: If looks could kill… I have an evil look.

 

Phicklephilly: Okay… I get that.

 

Lauren: What’s yours…? (giggles)

 

Phicklephilly: Turning alcohol into regret.

 

lauren: Ha ha ha You are killing me, Charles!

 

Phicklephily: It’swhat I do, dear. What’s your spirit animal?

 

Lauren: Definitely a dog. I love to cuddle but I still have the power to bite your head off.

 

Phicklephilly: Noted… What’s your dream destination?

 

Lauren: New Zealand!

 

Charles: Is there other life in the universe?

 

Lauren: If it’s happening here on earth, I feel that it must be happening somewhere else too.

 

Phicklephilly: How lucky are you, and why?

 

Lauren: I feel extremely lucky andhave gotten opportunities that people have been kind enough to grant me. I am very grateful. I feel very fortunate, Charles.

 

Phicklephilly: Are you a hunter or a gatherer?

 

Lauren: A gatherer. (I should have expanded on this one too)

 

Phicklephilly: Desert Island. You can only bring 3 things. What do you do?

 

Lauren: I would have to bring my friend Liza who I’ve known forever. She works for NASA. Jiro from Jiro dreams of sushi so he could make me the best sushi. Oh and lots of razors…. because I hate being hairy. (Again… I should have delved deeper here)

 

PhicklephillY: Do you like cereal? If you were a box of cereal, what would you be, Lauren?

 

Lauren: Honey Bunch of Oats! Because you get so many flavors in one box. So many variations, and when you get to the root of it… that’s me.

 

Phicklephilly: Best human trait?

 

Lauren: The will to survive. (Could have done so much better on this one)

 

Phicklephilly:  You’re the new addition to the crayon box. What color are you?

 

Lauren: Oh course, purple, Charles. You asked me that already. ha ha

 

Phicklephilly: Movie about you. Who plays you, and why?

 

Lauren: Oh, Lindsay Lohan. Have you seen Georgia Rule?

 

Phicklephilly: ha ha okay… yes.  What’s the funniest thing that happened to you lately?

 

Lauren: Yea… I went to a musical festival. I ended up in lying in a blow up baby pool full of stuffed animals. No water, dude.

 

Phicklephilly: hahhah ha that’s insane. have you ever been on a boat?

 

Lauren: Yes! I went kayaking last week. It was one of the most fun days of my life!

 

And it ends there…. I think I could have gone so much deeper, but it was her first and my first interview. It was never published so it go buried. But I believed that it was always good and she was a lovely girl so I’m very pleased to immortalize Lauren forever here on Phicklephilly.

I think she’s married and lives in New York now.

Lucky guy!

 

What a lovely girl!

 

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Phicklephilly – Business Development

My friend Keila (Keila – 2012 to Present – The Gaza Stripper) Who works with Alice at their IT recruiting firm knows so many people in the city. Her mom is friends with another Israeli woman who owns an Alcohol Education Institute here in the city. I know how that sounds. But it’s not what you think. The woman who owns it formerly owned over six bartending schools in the tri state area. After many successful years, she sold them all and now only has the one institute here in Philly.

Funny thing is, back in 2005 when I was working as a consultant for the financial industry, there were times when we weren’t working on a project. I decided to take a bartending course at a school in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I had no idea at the time, but it was one of theirs!

They are the first center dedicated to training and empowering both sides of the bar: The bartender and the guest. The institute prides itself on teaching people the ” Joy of Alcohol”, and on working with the most creative and inspiring people in the bar industry.

From Flair Maestros to Sommeliers and Brewing Masters, their instructors are some of the most specialized mixologists in the Philadelphia area. Many of the instructors are members of the United States Bartending Guild (USBG) and compete nationwide in bartending competitions.

The institute teaches that alcohol is good.  They celebrate the rich history and virtues of spirits and educate bartenders and consumers alike to respect the trade, perfect the craft, and drink with joy.

They run a standard alcohol education program/bartending school, but they teach so much more than just the basics. When the students graduate from this school, they are probably better than most of the bartenders working in this city right now. They’ll even help them find a job!

They find jobs in multiple ways. One of the primary ways they find jobs is through their “Hire A Bartender” page on their website. They have also built connections with neighboring bars and managers in the industry who are interested in their students.  The third major way they gain jobs is by aggregating relevant job postings from different online sites. Afterwards, they get in contact with the manager to find out exactly what they are looking for and post a more detailed explanation on their Alumni page. The fourth way they do this is by requesting a dream list from each of their graduates.

From that dream list, they call every single place and give the requesting graduate the information for the jobs that are hiring.

Sweet, right? It’s the real deal, and I have known the family for about three years. They are all really nice and recently approached me to come work for them. It’s an exciting position. I am the VP of Business Development. My job is to procure liquor companies to sponsor their products and services in the institute. I am also in the process of pitching a “Bar Leadership Program” to casinos, hotels, and larger restaurant chains, to train their people to understand the bar business beyond the bar. How to manage a bar, manage a staff, create a menu, what beer and wine you’ll need to stock your bar, etc. It’s the next level course that can make bartenders into managers.

So this could be a great fun gig for me. I’m looking forward to getting back out there to promote this great institute.

 

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