5 Questions with Alonso Buenrostro

July 21, 2013 

You're competing in the bartender competition at TGI Fridays in Columbus on July 31. What can people expect from the contest?

They can expect good drinks, a great show and a fun night to remember. Anybody can watch the contest, which is a fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation. You can "rent" seats to watch the contest with proceeds ben

efitting those organizations.

Bartenders take exams before July 31 and demonstrate tricks during the night of the competition. Each bartender has their own show. Each bartender has a different character. Each bartender has a different way of getting the crowd all hyped up. There will be auctions and raffles, too.

The contest starts at 6 p.m. at TGI Fridays, 3116 Adams Farm Drive in Columbus. It will last about four hours. You must be 18 years old to sit in the bar area. Call 706-321-0963 for more information.

You're originally from California. How did you end up in Columbus?

I ended up in Columbus because I got stationed here in 2007, then I got out of the military.

Now I am a retired veteran, and I decided to stay in Columbus. I know everybody around here, so there was no reason to leave. Plus, it's cheaper to stay here than in California.

What's the strangest drink request you've received while working behind the bar?

The weirdest thing was when a woman had a shot of Patrón Tequila and asked me for pickle juice for a chaser. So she was doing a shot and chasing it with pickle juice. She said it tasted good.

When it comes to bar etiquette, what's your advice for customers?

Drink responsibly -- that's the biggest advice. You should also have a sober driver. When we see a customer who's had too much to drink, we take measures like cutting them off and getting them a taxi if they don't have a designated driver.

There's also some proper etiquette for tipping. If you come to the bar, there's no reason why you shouldn't give the bartender a tip. If your experience is that bad, that's when you have to tell a manager. I recommend giving a tip of at least 15 percent.

If you want to get a bartender's attention, you don't need to snap your fingers or tap on your empty glass. Usually, all you have to do is wave to us.

Aside from your job, what's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

I think my back rubs are the best-kept secret.

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