Drinks with Lisa Vella

05:00 AM, Apr 19, 2013

Lisa Vella has tended bar at TC Hooligans in Greece for nearly seven years. (Rich Paprocki)/


Written By Jinelle Shengulette

Name: Lisa Vella.

Age: 27.

Residence: Greece.

Bar: TC Hooligans, Greece.

Did you go to college? Yes, some. (I went to) MCC and I went for what basically every high school graduate goes for when they are undecided: liberal arts.

How did you get into bartending? My mom and sister both tended bar at a place in Greece called Fat Moe’s. I was cocktail waitressing at the time, and then the day finally came when my mom trained me on the bar, and I haven’t looked back since.

How long have you been at your bar? I have worked for Hooligans for going on seven years.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at your bar? This question makes me laugh. I always say if I would just remember to bring a notebook to work with me and jot down all of the crazy encounters that happen daily, I would have the best book! I really can’t pick just one.

What’s your least favorite drink to pour and why? I hate making a Strong Island! Many people will be familiar with it as a Long Island, but for the customers that think they’re clever, that’s how they refer to it. It does not exist; a Long Island is already strong!

What drink do you pour the most? I pour mostly beer, now that I work mostly days, but when someone comes in and asks me to make something that tastes good, I usually resort to a drink called Apple Berry Punch. It’s a mixture of berry-flavored vodka, apple pucker, Sprite and cranberry juice.

How much should I be tipping? If you want good service throughout the night and (don’t) want to be forgotten in a busy bar, tip really good on the first drink. It’s smart and effective.

Is there a song on the jukebox or radio that you hate? I hate a song with a lot of vulgarity in it while working. Yes, it’s a bar, but there are other things to sing or rap about than the continuous swearing. I just don’t think those kinds of songs are good for business and they encourage bad decisions.

What’s the quickest way to get a bartender to hate me? Oh, the list can be rather large. Do not snap your fingers. Do not tap on the bar. Do not call me over on a busy night and then turn around and start asking your friends what shots they want. Have the order ready when I get to you. Do not ask me to put more booze in the glass, especially if you ask for little or no ice.

What’s the quickest way to get great service? Have your money out and ready, and be patient and look for the eye contact.

What’s the worst pickup line you’ve overheard at the bar? After seven years, I have heard many! Any pickup line is a bad idea! Be yourself.

Can you share any hangover cures? Super spicy Bloody Mary (don’t skimp on the horseradish).

What do you l
ove best about your job? I get to experience something new every day. It’s never the same occurrences every day (aside from the regulars). I love listening to the stories I am told every day from new people.