Bartender of the Month

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Village Grille’s
Big Al

What inspired you to become a mixologist?
I started in this business in my early twenties as a bouncer for extra money. Then saw a better opportunity bartending.

You tend bar at the Village Grille. How would you describe the vibe?
Casual, friendly atmosphere. It’s very comfortable with really good food.

You’ve been doing your thing for 2 decades. What is the craziest thing you ever saw?
I had an evening years ago in a bar where I was chased by a guy with a German Sheppard. You had to be there.

What makes the Village Grille so unique?
We can accommodate anyone’s special needs. And as far as the menu items and drinks it’s the only place you can get Al’s friendly service.

Do you have a signature cocktail?
(laughs) All of them!

How has bartending changed from when you first started?
The laws have changed a great deal affecting the business. Especially late night. Also there were only about 3 specialty drinks, now there are thousands. It’s been almost 40 years since I started!

Do you ever feel like a psychologist behind the bar?
Every time!

You’ve been at the Village Grille since day one. You kind of came with the place. What makes you so popular?
I think I just try to do my best every time I’m behind the bar and that’s really it. Of course we all have our days.

Tell us something about yourself that nobody knows?
I was a shy person when I was young. But from working in this business, I kind of overcame it to a degree.

MN Magazine

MN Magazine

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