Written by Chris Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 08 February 2014 00:00
For every club, restaurant, or neighborhood bar you might wander into after a long hard week, the experience just wouldn’t work without one vital piece of the puzzle—an experienced bartender slinging drinks and keeping customers happy.
However, those bartenders don’t just grow on trees; they are carefully crafted into drink-mixing machines by people such as Drew Vaughn, owner of Bartenders International of Hicksville. Opening its doors in 2002, Bartenders International specializes in both training and job placement in the industry, and has developed a reputation over the years for consistently churning out the right people for the right job.
A North Babylon native, Vaughn has a long history himself in the local bartending scene. But after nearly 20 years in the business, he decided that a change was in order.
“I bartended a long time at clubs all across Long Island and I loved doing it,” he said. “However, now I don’t want to go out until four in the morning every night. While teaching this class two nights a week, I get to meet people, have fun, make drinks, and help people find work. It was a good business opportunity.”
While Vaughn does instruct students in the fine art of mixing all manner of alcoholic concoctions, he said that Bartenders International primarily functions as a job placement association.
“It’s like a union, people join because they want to work. After all, there’s no reason to go to bartending school unless you want to get a bartending job,” Vaughn said. “People join this association and we help them to find jobs. And bars call me all the time, because I advertise to them and try to get their business.”
But before he makes a recommendation, Vaughn said that he needs to watch potential bartenders at work; how they make drinks, how they interact with customers and so on. In any given class, he will have some students working behind the bar and the rest posing as customers. He will then observe the prospective bartenders as they’re put through the paces.
“People need to come in and have at least eight hours under my supervision. Then, if they still need more time to develop, they can come in every day,” he said. “It’s like joining a gym. At a gym, you’re not paying to take an aerobics class, you’re paying to be a member of the gym. You can take as many aerobics classes as you want. It’s the same principle here, not everyone catches on right away, so they can come back in and practice as much as they want.”
Takemah Williams of Hempstead was only two hours into her first-ever class at Bartenders International, but she was already mixing drinks like a champ.
“I’ve never bartended before,” she said. “It’s easier than I thought it would be because Drew is a great teacher. He’s nice and he knows a lot.”
Shirley resident Samantha Cuomo was on her second day of classes, and considering the social aspect of bartending, she figures it’s a natural fit for her personality.
“I like talking to people and meeting new people, so I thought I’d give this a try,” she said. “Drew makes you feel very comfortable and lays everything out for you step-by-step, and goes over all the drinks from top to bottom. I would totally recommend him for anyone wanting to get into the business.”
When it comes to generating business, Vaughn said that he has developed strong word-of-mouth over the years for a simple reason— he gets results for his students and members.
“People usually have a great time here and they enjoy it. But what’s most important is that we find them work, so they recommend us to other people, and I get a lot of referrals,” he said. “Sure, we get some people with no experience at all who want to learn how to mix some drinks, but most people don’t come in here because they need a bartending school—they come in here because they need a job. And we can get them those jobs.”
Find out more about Bartenders International at www.bartendersinternational.com.
Friday, 25 April 2014 00:00
When it comes to the highly-competitive world of school sports, most athletes find themselves scrambling to find an edge on the field and do what it takes to leave the opposing team eating their dust.
MDP Lacrosse of Hicksville wants to give players that edge. Owned and operated by James Montana and his partners Steve and Scott Bryan, the training facility first opened in 2011; however, they didn’t start working at it full-time until 2012, at which time their unique approach to achievement in sporting really started to take off.
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:22
Bob Hilsky left an indelible mark on the face of Hicksville baseball, as well as countless local players. This Saturday, that mark becomes official as the Hicksville High School varsity baseball field is renamed in honor of Coach Bob.
The entire community is invited to this Saturday’s 11 a.m. ceremony, where the Board of Education will dedicate the varsity baseball field as Coach Bob Hilsky Memorial Field to honor Hilsky’s 30 years of coaching baseball. Hilsky also taught in the district elementary schools before retiring in 1995. Hilsky passed away this past January at the age of 75.
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:44
This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.
Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.
Why hire a triathlon coach?
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:42
Every once in a while you just tip your cap to the opposition. That was the type of game it was for Hicksville’s JV baseball team in their 3-0 loss to Massapequa. The starting pitcher for the Massapequa Chiefs, Patrick Clyne threw a complete game shutout, while allowing three hits, walking none and striking out four.
Clyne was forced to pitch under duress only one time and that was in the third inning with the game still scoreless. He allowed a two-out single to opposing pitcher Terrence Wong. The next two batters followed with infield hits to load the bases. He was able to make a big pitch, however, to end the threat and keep the Comets off the board.