Experience 2015: Bartender!


Of all my new experiences in 2015, this was the best! I was a guest bartender at Hot Tin Roof, a bar recreated from the old Hillsborough Plumbing Company. The bar is a brilliant, funky reuse of a building, thanks to Hillsborough resident Mark Bateman and his business partners.20151107_095603

The shelf  below sat on the floor in plumbing days and stored supplies. Now look what it stores!


Hot Tin Roof sponsors charity bartending events. All tips and part of the proceeds go to some great causes. Proceeds from this event went to North Carolina food banks.

The evening celebrated the reopening of Lindsley Bowen’s fabulous vintage jewelry store, Carlisle and Linny Vintage Jewelry, in its new downtown location.  Here’s the shop’s Facebook page, and here’s Lindsley. She’s a jewelry expert. It’s fascinating to hear her talk about the styling and the provenance of the pieces she sells.


Lindsley put out a a call for bartenders. When I heard she would deck me out in her jewelry, I was in! For my big night, I sported a hair comb, dangly earrings, and an armful of bracelets.


I got my nails painted a glittery silver,


which helped me show off these four pretty rings. (I bought the pink one, circa 1920, as a reminder of the night.)

20151111_110907 (1)

A choker to go with my purple dress.


Dr. Bessie Mbadugha, posing here in the vintage dress she wore, was another mastermind behind the event. Bessie, a chemistry professor on hiatus to raise kids, is an ambassador to the Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors of the Expedition School in Hillsborough. Bessie’s photo was taken by photographer  and boutique owner Sharyn Arai.

Outside Hot Tin

When I arrived at the bar, Steve, the skilled and laid back bartender, showed us the ropes. My fellow guest bartender was the lovely Carol McLaurin. We learned where the beers, wine, and liquors were stored; how to work the taps (turn them on and off, fast); and luckily, we learned that Steve and his assistant Robbie would mix any complicated drinks and also handle the money.



Early in the evening, I had a bit of time to be a true bartender. “Got any problems I can help you with?” I asked two guys. One shook his head, but the other said, “Should I quit my job and spend $52,000 on  a yacht?”

“Sure!” I said. “Gotta live your life!”

I was flattered the guy then invited me to join him on the yacht, especially since he looked to be about forty. “I’m not a great cook,” I confessed.

“No problems,” the guy said. “I am.”

When he found out that Cliff can repair things, he invited him too. Guess the offer was on the up and up.


My head spun and my feet ached (but my new Lifestride Soft System shoes were a Godsend).


I’m so appreciative of the group from my church who came out for a good cause. Presbyterians, despite our reputation, know how to party. Below are my buddies Bernie and Alice, who are not only Presbyterians but Presbyterian ministers.

We raised a chunk of change for the food banks, and launched Lindsley’s shop with gusto. My team was great!


I’ve asked for a job at Hot Tin Roof, but have received no reply.

But no matter, in my one solo night as a bartender, I truly had a blast. Thank you, everyone.


11 thoughts on “Experience 2015: Bartender!”

  1. So this was better than your trip to Europe? You made your night sound so fun! I saved the link to the shoes. After I get surgery for arthritis on my big toes I’ll be in the market for some new shoes. Can’t wait.


    1. Oh gosh! In the post-glow of bartending I forgot about my trip! Hmm. I think a tie! I LOVE the shoes. I have terrible feet. I can walk to church in these and then usher and not feel like my feet are going to break. Do try them. Good luck with your toes.


Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s