The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

92° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep!: Union Public House’s bartender keeps up with her regulars

    Christina Harris
    Union Public House bartender, Cecilia Padilla, discusses what it’s like working for a bar and restaurant in Tucson.

    This week, the Daily Wildcat caught up with Cecilia Padilla, bartender at Union Public House, to get the inside scoop on being a bartender at such a popular place. The establishment has upscale dining and a bar with a classy staff and a large liquor selection.

    Daily Wildcat: How long have you been bartending?

    Padilla: Approximately eight years.

    Why did you decide you wanted to work here?

    Well mainly because a lot of people I knew always spoke about it and I was at a neighborhood bar before and I wanted to go somewhere that is bigger [with] fancier drinks. They have a bigger beer selection and I love that stuff.

    When did you start working here at the Union Public House?

    About four years ago.

    What’s your favorite drink to make here?

    [I] would say it’s the Jack Rabbit Slim, because when people look at the ingredients, they are kind of like, “What, that’s weird,” and when they taste it they are like, “Oh, it’s really good. It tastes like Mexican candy.” It has Jack Daniel’s, peach liqueur, mint, jalapeño, sweet and sour, and it’s topped with Sprite. People kind of don’t know what to expect, and then when they drink it, they love it. And then what’s cool is that one of our bartenders is the one that threw it together. So, it’s not something that is just out there. It’s our own.

    What’s your least favorite drink to make?

    This is bad, but anything with blue-cheese-stuffed olives, because I have to stuff them myself and it takes a long time.

    Do you have any memorable customers?

    Oh yeah, a lot. What’s cool about Tucson in general is that we have a lot of snowbirds, those people who come in once a year. So, I have been here for four years [and] there’s people that come for a week-long period every year around the same time and they always compliment how they love that it’s the same bartender as the year before. I remember what they drink typically and it’s like we pick up where we left off. There’s a few couples that come in that are like that too.

    What sets this bar apart from other bars?

    Well first of all, our owners are very involved. They are here running food, bussing tables, bartending and a lot of places don’t have that. A lot of the guests come in because they are supporting the owners. They know how awesome they are. Our beer selection is good, whiskey selection is good, but not only that, we have a scratch kitchen. So our bar keeps us really busy, but people come for the food as well. It’s not just a bar; it’s not just a restaurant; We collectively bring a lot of people in here together.

    Follow Kelsey Ropte on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search