The tender: Curtis Williams
The bar: Mill Cue Club (607 S. Mill Ave., 480-858-9017)
The pedigree: Becoming a bartender at Cue Club works differently than at most places: any girl who wants to tend bar has to start out as a server, and any guy has to first work the door. Williams followed the path, checking IDs before barbacking and working days. He's now a full-time bartender and has been at Cue Club for six years.
The process to become a bartender here is pretty unique. What's the purpose?
We like our employees here to understand every aspect of the bar, and by the time you get to be a bartender you respect the amount of work it took to get you to that spot. It's going to make you that much better an employee, and you're going to want to do your job well because you worked so hard to get to that position. It's really a matter of how hard you work, how good you are with people, and how much time you're willing to spend here. Most of our bartenders have been here seven, eight years.
What makes you stick around?
Honestly, the money's not bad. I'll say that. The people who come in here are a lot of fun, and the people I work with are like family. We'll all come in here to work, then we'll all hang out afterward.
What's your favorite drink to make?
Probably a Long Island [Iced Tea] or a variation of it. It's quick, strong, popular and cheap. I can pretty much guarantee you that 80 to 90 percent of the drinks I make, especially during happy hour, are going to be Long Islands. It's the easiest, quickest drink to make because I make so many of them.
Ever get sick of making them?
Nah. If I ever got sick of making Long Islands, I wouldn't be able to work here. It's so integral to what Cue Club is, the Long Island. On a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, I probably make a couple hundred of them. And that's just me. Each of the bartenders is probably doing the same. If I knew the secret to what makes them so magical, I'd probably go open my own place.
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