RC How long have you been working at McCarthy’s Pub?
Laura I’ve been managing McCarthy’s since August 2010-I started at the bar as a bartender and worked one weekend shift before the owner asked me if I would be interested in managing
RC What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while working behind the bar?
Laura One mishap that sticks out in my mind happened at Scotland Yard several years ago. I don’t know if you’ve ever been inside this bar, but the entrance at street level immediately takes you down several steep, concrete stairs, where the bar sits at basement level. So, it’s happy hour on a Tuesday and I’ve finished making my sign-age, setting up the bar, counting registers, etc and am standing waiting to serve. About half way through happy hour I’ve got about 4 or 5 people with drinks sitting at the bar talking with me like they usually did during my shifts, when a man that looked to be around 60 or so, took the first step down to come into the bar, but unfortunately that day missed the other eight or so steps to the bottom, making the next step he felt the bar floor. His face was implanted on the ground and I thought he was a goner! As I franticly attempt to scramble over to him to make sure he’s okay, the man proceeds to stand up, stagger past me and over to the bar, not to sit down and regroup, but to order a drink! Completely shocked that the man is even able to articulate words after the fall I witnessed, I paused and looked at him in dismay and said, “Sir. I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m just not comfortable serving you anything other than water.” Tempted to almost laugh because of how outrageous his request was after such an entrance, the man looked at me and said, “I understand,” stood up and went on his way.
RC What is the biggest tip you ever received?
Laura The biggest tip I ever received didn’t come all at once. Instead, I consider having a core group of customers that have been loyal and steadfast no matter the bar I work in, always willing to go to any venue as long as I’m their tender, that’s my biggest tip because it’s constant and unconditional.
RC What is the drink you make the best that everyone reading this should try?
Laura Summer-in-yo-mouth! (named by one of my bartenders Tara Thurber) I created this one of the first Sundays it was warm outside. An overall gist of ingredients includes Malibu/Meyers (use both), Stoli Vanilla, Banana liqueur, fresh strawberries mushed in a shaker and pounded until frothy like a smoothie.
RC Have you ever served a celebrity?
Laura This time last year, I was asked to be one of two bartenders on a 200 foot yacht, expected to serve about 50 of Bon Jovi’s keyboardist David Bryan’s best friends for his bachelor party. Although excited and flattered by the invitation perhaps hesitant to say yes. Lets be honest, I was a little nervous about what kind of unruly shenanigans would ensue and how I would handle it, yet much to my surprise the entire crew of people were absolutely fabulous, well mannered, and fun!
RC What kind of music do you like to listen to while working?
Laura Rory, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you; Phoenix Pandora lovers!!
RC Whats the best tip you can give someone to earn a buyback?
Laura For me, the buy back system is a relationship, it’s about give and take, as well as, appreciating those two things together. That aside, the quickest way to get a buy back from ME is to be one of the first patrons of my full bar! Usually on slower shifts such as a Monday or Tuesday, the minute I have a full bar (meaning all seats at the bar are taken), I buy everyone there a shot and we do a bar toast. I think it’s important to engage everyone if possible and therefore create a warmer, friendlier environment.
RC How do you deal with down time when it is slow?
Laura Since I manage the bar and bartend, I’ve usually got plenty of random jobs to keep me occupied.
RC Have you ever been invited to a wedding by a customer?
Laura I love people. I do my best to include everyone, provide equal treatment, and more importantly understand each person I encounter as they are. Some would say I’m too nice and I would disagree every time except for the time that a customer wouldn’t stop. He must have asked me to be his date for his brother’s wedding for 3 months every time he came in, which was at least 2 or 3 times a week. I guess no didn’t mean no for this man. He would ask other bartenders to ask me, he called the bar several different times wanting to reach me and finally the last phone call he made a co-worker squashed the situation. No further details about the scenario and it still seems quite excessive, but what if I tell you the customer is old enough to almost be my grandfather! Oh, for the love of people ;)
RC What are the Pro’s and Con’s to being a bartender in Hoboken?
Laura Having worked with some of the best bartenders in Hoboken, I’ve found that there’s a loyalty, trust factor that bartenders earn amongst each other and in Hoboken, it’s not an easy accomplishment but once it’s been conquered, it’s like family!
RC Do you know any good bar tricks?
Laura My best bar trick is something called authenticity, it works every time!
The Bokenology highlights bartenders, waitresses, and owners in the Hoboken bar scene. In weeks to come, Bokenology will bring more diversity with regards to local establishments and introduce you to more people in town. If you would like to be featured, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org