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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep! Maynard’s award winning barkeep discusses 25 year career

    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
    Eddie Pain, bartender of four years at Maynard’s Market and Kitchen, makes drink suggestions to patrons on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Pain estimates that he’s worked in about 15 bars in Tucson. Photo by: Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat

    Eddie Pain, bartender for 25 years and counting, gave The Daily Wildcat insight into working in the different areas of Tucson, funny conversations with customers, a famous person that hung out at his bar and a major accomplishment.

    Daily Wildcat: Where are you from? 

    Eddie Pain: Tucson. Born and raised.

    How long have you been bartending for? 

    25 years. 

    And have you always been here, or where else have you bartended?

    All over Tucson, about 10-15 different restaurants and bars.

    Is this you’re favorite, is that why you’re still here? 


    What’s your favorite part about working here?

    I just like being downtown because Tucson’s downtown is finally coming alive. We’ve got more people walking around. My last restaurant was Hacienda del Sol, so it was way up in the Foothills. And it was a resort, but at least downtown we have so many people now so, it’s always busy. Tucson’s finally getting busy, so that’s one nice thing about being here. We’re in the heart of downtown, so we’re in the middle of everything. 

    The host up front said you were an award-winning bartender, can you tell me about that?

    Yes, that was from GQ Magazine. I made top 50 bartenders in GQ Magazine in 2010. 

    How did that come up, did someone nominate you?

    I had to get nominated, and then I had to do a statewide competition, which I won. Then I went to Las Vegas and competed in a two-day competition. So yeah, because I got to Vegas they picked the top 50 bartenders there. And it was through GQ Magazine and Bombay Sapphire gin. And to this day they still do it every year. 

    Do you have a favorite drink to make?

    I do. It’s called the Cooler. 

    Why do you like making that so much?

    It’s very refreshing, and it’s one of my signature drinks. It has cucumber, cilantro, Hendrick’s Gin, lime juice and agave nectar. 

    Do you have any drinks that bring up special memories?

    That one! It was actually featured in the GQ Magazine. 

    Do you have any memorable customers?

    Hm, you mean from my whole experience of bartending?


    Ah, probably John Denver, you know who he is? He was at my bar. I served at a private party in Tucson; he hung out at my bar for a while. Very nice gentleman. 

    What do you appreciate in a customer?

    Someone that wants to be adventurous with drinks, and they like to try new things. 

    And what’s something that customers do that pisses you off?

    They don’t tip! That’ll do the job. 

    Do you guys host any special events here?

    Yeah, they do all kinds of stuff. Like wine dinners and beer fests. There’s all kinds of stuff that they do, but I don’t really do. Any of those I usually stay inside at the bar and my other bartender will go outside and do those kinds of things. Yeah they have all kinds of events here. And I’ll let you know our sister restaurant’s Hotel Congress, so it’s the same owners. So they bring a lot of stuff over, too, and new things, different things that we do together. ’Cause we have that whole patio out there, and the same owners own the market next door also. So typically we’ll have a big event that’s out on the patio. 

    This question might be a little hard: What do you think is the smartest way for a guy to buy a girl a drink?

    Hm, the smartest way for a guy to buy a girl a drink. I usually just have them, the guys will ask me to send it to over. That’s how I usually get it asked. They’ll be like, “Send that girl down at the end of the bar a drink.” And then I’ll bring it to her and say, “It’s from the guy down there.” And then they’ll just start talking like that, through me, which is funny. Because they’ll be like, “Oh go and tell him thank you.” So it’s fun. This bar gets really friendly, like on Fridays and Saturdays it’s packed. We kind of jam everybody in here, so it’s fun. Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s talking to each other. I get a lot of conversations going with people. … So, I would say ask the bartender to send her a drink.

    Follow Emma Jackson on Twitter.

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