SB Magazine would like for you to meet our local bartenders. Get to know Andy Flook, the bar manager for Frank's Pizza Napoletana.

SB: When did you start bartending?

AF: I started bartending at the ripe old age of about nineteen at a Tex Mex restaurant, where I mostly made (you guessed it!) margaritas.

SB: I knew I wanted to work behind a bar when…

AF: Well it started as a monetary need but once I began working for local restauranteurs who allowed me to spread my wings a little more I really fell in love with the craft. When a patrons face lights up after their first sip of a drink you’ve worked hard to bring from concept to execution, it’s enough to give you that ‘want’.

SB: What’s your proudest accomplishment behind the bar?

AF: Anytime I can improve someone’s day, and not just with drinks but through casual conversation or anticipating their needs it makes me feel great.

SB: Define the perfect cocktail.

The perfect cocktail has many variations, but it should be well balanced, full of character, and intriguing. 

SB: What has been the most unusual drink request you’ve ever encountered?

A Gibson with vanilla vodka. Gag me with a spoon!  

SB: At the end of your shift, what do you pour for yourself?

Old Tom Gin on the rocks.

 SB: What is your favorite thing about working behind a bar? 

AF: I like expanding palettes. Working in an Italian restaurant we have a wide variety of Amaro and Gin, and a lot of people don’t even know what Amaro is. Amaro is an Italian digestif, usually served neat, it’s very herbaceous and usually a bitter. Italians drink it at the end of a great meal, the bitterness to remind you death is always around the corner. Things like Amaro and Gin have such a depth of character that a lot of spirits lack so I enjoy broadening the flavor profiles people are used to with these.

SB: Least favorite?

AF: People who complain about the price of drinks, I know they can be expensive, however, I do not make the prices.

 SB: What’s your favorite drink to mix?

AF: I make a bourbon cocktail named the Afternoon Delight, where I use a caramel gomme syrup that foams up and leaves a frothy head on the drink. Then using bitters I make designs on the foam and it’s fun but also very pretty when done right.

SB: What drink would you be happy never making again?

AF: Vodka and Diet Coke.

 SB: One thing I wish more people understood about bartending is…

AF: Light ice does not equal more liquor.

 SB: I’d most like to mix a drink for…

AF: Tom Waits

SB: And I would make them a…

AF: Sazerac or a Last Word

SB: If your bar shifts had a theme song, what would it be?

AF: Warren G – Regulators

SB: If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing?

AF: Anything with food, my friends and I cure meat in our off time and I’d really like to get into making cheese. That or some degree of journalism.