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Meet New Tampa’s Newest Bartender, Nathan Small

Small pulls pints at the recently opened PJ Dolan's Irish Pub and Grille on East Bearss Avenue.

New Tampa readers, here’s Nathan Small. Patch met him at PJ Dolan's Irish Pub and Grille, which opened three weeks ago.

  • Works at: 2836 E Bearss Ave., Tampa, FL
  • Joined: 3 weeks ago.
  • Has been a bartender for: three weeks.
  • Hometown: Lutz.

Patch: What made you become a bartender?

Small: My friend and owner of PJ Dolan's asked me if I would bartend and I agreed. I used to work in the construction business, but now I really enjoy being indoors and bartending.

Patch: Since you started your career as a bartender a few weeks ago, how do you prepare special order drinks?

Small: When a customer orders something other than a beer or a commonly known drink, I use my drink book and look up the drink and follow the instructions.

Patch: Since you started bartending, have you encountered someone who was overly drunk?

Small: Yeah, the night we opened I got a couple of complaints about a guy being a little too loud and I had to go calm down the situation. The next day he came back to the bar and apologized for his behavior.

Patch: What is the weirdest drink you had to make?

Small: A customer asked me to make a ‘breakfast shot’. It has an array of alcohol like whiskey and after taking the shot, the customer took a shot of orange juice. It actually tasted like pancakes.

Patch: What do you like about bartending?

Small: I really enjoy getting to know people and have a great time learning how to make drinks. I really like it!

BarsandBartending.com June 22, 2011 at 08:39 AM
You need a BIG personality to become a bartender. Practise at home bartending basics. For instance, the most popular drink recipes, how to pour, cut fruit and open wine, etc... Here the link to an entire guide to landing a bartending job http://www.bars-and-bartending.com/bartender-resume.html . Including resumes, interview questions, and what to wear. One option to getting your foot in the bar is to offer to work a free shift to the owner, they won't be able to resist the idea and you're now in a position to prove yourself. If you impress them, they will definitely hire you because good bartenders are hard to find. If you aren't good enough, you still take away from the experience; more knowledge and probably a few more bar tricks and skills from watching other bartenders. If you're all ready working at a nice establishment as a server, ask if you can come in on some slow shift and practise with the bartender. Or just go in on your own when their service is slow and ask questions. It will show your interest and initiative to learn and work hard.

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