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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep: Meet Michael Bates from Saint House Island Bistro & Rum Bar

    Alex Guyton

    Michael Bates, head bartender at Saint House Island Bistro & Rum Bar, prepares a craft cocktail.

    Daily Wildcat: What is your favorite drink to make?

    Michael Bates: Whatever the guest enjoys. It’s not about me, I don’t think. It’s about the guest and their preferences.

    Is there a drink you don’t like to make?

    Again, for me, it’s about the guest. … Even in a crazy rush on a Friday night, somebody orders a long, complicated, involved drink, that’s what you do. If you act mad or pissed off about something, then you’re hindering that guest’s experience, and they’re not going to enjoy their drink as much. There’s so much more going on other than the beverage. That’s a fraction of the guest’s experience, the actual taste of the drink.

    Most memorable guest that comes to mind, for better or worse?

    Obviously, the worst ones you remember. … This one time, I had a guy that was falling asleep at the bar, which was obviously illegal. This was in Seattle. … He wouldn’t leave, and one thing led to another, and at one point, I had to pick him up and get him out. He grabs onto the bar, and he’s like, ‘No!’ He’s screaming, ‘No! I’m a doctor! I’m a doctor!’ The great thing about that is you can look up all these doctors online. … He did scream his name a lot. After that, I called his attending, which is essentially his boss, and told him that he acted in a very unprofessional manner.

    You mentioned you bartended in Seattle?

    Yes. I worked at a bar called Zig Zag Café.

    Any differences between the Seattle and Tucson bar scene? The clientele, or drinks ordered or mannerisms?

    I don’t know how to necessarily judge the Tucson versus Seattle crowd.

    Maybe more shorts?

    A lot more shorts. I didn’t own shorts before I moved here. A lot more shorts, polos, things like that. Everybody’s really nice here, friendly. Just very different from the standoffish-ness you find in Seattle. It’s sure easier to live here than there, apart from crazy rain storms like last night. It’s pretty easy living, I got to say. … I’d say people are happier.


    Follow Alex Guyton on Twitter.

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