Adam Dunbar: If you're not having fun, it's not worth it
In this interview, Freshcraft's Adam Dunbar weighs in on the night of the Beast, his go-to beer and where he heads for a perfectly made Manhattan.
Kristin Olson, courtesy of Adam Dunbar
Westword: How long have you been a bartender? What made you get into the profession?
Adam Dunbar: My wife Amy and I moved here in April of '07. I got laid off at the end of '08; I was working with a hardwood floor company. I struggled for a little while trying to find anything. Amy was working at a law firm at the time, and she picked up a second job at Aix, where Olivea is now. I'd go sit and talk with her, and I kind of got mystified by the whole thing. I wanted to be behind the bar and understand every bottle back there. So a friend got me a job bussing tables at Sushi Den. I was 27, and I advanced quickly; I think my dedication showed through. I worked there for about three or four months, and then one of the head servers was going to open the Icehouse Tavern. He got an interview for me with the bar manager, Scott Skibo, and he gave me my first chance at the bar life.
When Little Pub Company bought the majority share of that, everyone lost their job. I went to Andrew's and bar backed for a little while, then they closed. I drove a limo for a little while, then I got my job at Freshcraft. I left Freshcraft for Encore for a bit but then went back to Freshcraft, where I'm the bar manager and one of the house managers.
By the time I landed at Freshcraft, I was definitely a beer guy, but I still didn't know what I was doing. I got into beer because I got tired of crap beer -- I knew there was more out there. I was right, as it turns out. I started experimenting with going to the liquor store and experiencing new stuff.
Bartending rule to live by: I have two. First, Kevin Burke once told me words that I'll always stick to: Your job as a bartender is one simple thing -- tend to your bar. And the other is always have fun. If you're not having fun, it's not worth it. This job is the most fun thing I've ever done in my life. There have been times and places where it's harder to have fun, but you just have to make the most of your situation. That's why I think Freshcraft is a really good fit -- we have a lot of fun.