I interviewed Aimee Dubon and went for a second interview with Paul Kansler this week. Both of these bartenders have been employed by Della Rose’s tavern for over ten years. Aimee has worked at the Avenue location for eleven years. Paul, otherwise known as “Meathead” or “Meat,” had started working for the Della Rose’s when they were located on Belair Road over twelve years ago. Both bartenders are unique in their own way and have much input on what it takes to become a great bartender.
Although they have different styles of bartending, they both know how to keep the crowds coming back.
Aimee’s philosophy is simple, “you have to go above and beyond to make people want to come and see you.” She thinks that a bartender has to prove that they are tip-worthy and has to go out of his/her way to make each patron feel important. For example, there are four high-top tables and five booths in the bar area, if people order from the bar no matter where they sit, Aimee personally brings them their drinks/food. You don’t have to sit at the bar top gain Aimee’s attention, she will approach any customer no matter where they are in the bar area. “Most bartenders leave it up to the servers to bring drinks to the high-tops, even if they do order from the bartender,” says Aimee.
If people didn’t know better they would assume that Aimee is a manger or owner of Della Rose’s. That’s how much she cares about the people who frequent the bar and restaurant. She knows almost everyone who may walk in the door on any given night. She even brings the “regulars” little gifts on holidays. “A few years ago there was this older gentleman who recently lost his wife. I brought him chocolates and a really touching card on Valentine’s Day. You would have thought that I had given him a million dollars if you saw the expression on his face,” says Aimee.
On Tuesday nights at the Canton location Aimee pours two drinks at a time and has pitchers of beer already poured for the BSSC teams that come in all at once. “It can get a bit overwhelming at times. That’s why you have to be able to handle many tasks at once,” says Aimee.
“Meathead” is also a great bartender, not only for his multitasking abilities but for his comedic style. He can make almost any situation into a joke. If you are having a bad day and want to laugh, go see him. “You can joke around with anybody, but you have to know the difference between people who can take practical jokes and those who can’t,” says “Meat.” He informed me that one time a bunch of “regulars” were sitting at the bar, a few eating buffalo wings, and out of nowhere this other guy who frequents the bar sits down and talks about how much he loves buffalo sauce, Tabasco sauce, etc. “I was thinking to myself, what the hell is he telling me for, and then I had a great prank,” says, ‘Meat.” He told the guy that they had this new Blue Moon beer on draft called “Buffalo Blue.” I suppose the guy must have been really gullible and “Meat” knew it. He, unnoticeably took a pint glass into the kitchen, put a spoonful of buffalo sauce in the glass, came back out, poured Blue Moon into the slightly-tinted orange glass and served it to him.
The guy pretended to love it, or maybe he really did like the taste, and wanted to know more about the brewing procedure. “Meat” said that he was able to keep a straight face but the guys sitting next to him couldn’t. “I though old-man Jack was going to pee himself,” says “Meat.”
Despite the jokes and the fact that people refer to him as “Meat,” this guy is one of the best bartenders. From his product knowledge, years of experience, passion for the art of bartending to the way he always knows who won what game and why, he has kept the crowd from the original bar coming in to see him.