"That's Doug," the bartender says. She points toward the back end of the bar. "You'll see him. He's the bald guy who's usually back by the pool table."
Doug Wasilewski's propped up against the back bar, scoping out one of the players aiming his pool cue. He admits to spending a lot of time back there, mainly because he's crazy about pool and partially because they don't have too many problems at Bikini Lounge.
The 45-year-old says he's lived in and around Phoenix for 44 years, which is close enough to being a native. The real advantage to being in one place for so long, he says, is that you get to know the area's people, characters, and stories really well.
And he has a few stories to share. We caught up with Doug -- who even left the pool match (but probably because no one could hear anything) -- in the back parking lot.
Tell Tale Signs of a Fake ID:
I've been doing this for a while, so I can tell something's up if someone does the double check on their wallet, has to take a second glance around the bar while I look at their ID, or "just forgot it in the car." I gotcha! And I keep up on what day is today -- if you weren't born by September 21, 1989 -- nice try.
I landscape during the day, so I also have to get up really early. Luckily my boss is pretty cool and will understand that I've been out working all night, so he cuts me a few extra hours to sleep in if I worked the night before.
I know all the characters pretty well, but I think I've only had to throw four people out of this place. The trouble almost always come from the non-regular, drunk person who's convinced they can have another.
Best Part about the Job:
I've been working here for a year. Before that I was at Caravan, and let me tell you, that was a rough job. But here it's easy. There are great people, cool music ... for the most part everyone knows each other, and my wife's a bartender here, so it all works.
Worst Part about the Job:
Having to wake up early tomorrow morning.
Differences Between Bikini and a Bar in Scottsdale:
We don't get a lot of underage kids, pumped up and looking to get drunk -- this is much more a neighborhood spot.
Well, I am pretty good friends with the guy at the front door ...
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