Tales from the Bar

Your Favorite Bartenders Reveal True Tales and Tips

Joanie Frederick, Jack’s Bar

I’m a teacher by day, bartender by night. I’ve been bartending for thirty-two years; fifteen of those years have been at Jack’s Bar. Life behind the bar is a lot like a kindergarten classroom. The people are just taller. I have a wardrobe of hats I wear every single day and I’ve perfected the three-minute conversation. I’ve also mastered the art of verbal potty training. I’m a keeper of secrets, a therapist and a classroom manager.
187 Water St., Warren

Jason Kindness, Revolving Door

During the slow season, the bartenders have been doing Iron Tender challenges. The kitchen staff presents us with an unusual ingredient and two bartenders have seven minutes to come up with a new cocktail featuring the given item. The chefs then taste blind and choose a winner. The contest has produced some new recipes that have made it onto our menu, such as a mezcal cocktail featuring the secret ingredient sriracha — made with pickle juice.
509 Thames St., Newport, 846-0400, revolvingdoorri.com

Vito Lantz, The Dorrance

I could tell you crazy stories about serving cocktails in hollowed-out unicorn skulls while juggling fire, or about the night an intoxicated woman tried to throw a glass of red wine in my face. But my favorite stories happen when a couple gets a babysitter and a night out. They plan on coming in for one drink, but end up staying for a few. And dinner. And dessert. And coffee.
60 Dorrance St., Providence, 521-6000, thedorrance.com