Friday, April 14, 2006

Personality Profile

Brenton Spratlen
Bar Manager, Sports Club LA (Washington DC location)

“I like making a great experience for someone who sits at the bar.” Two months ago, Brenton’s philosophy on bartending earned him the Bar Manager position at Sports Club LA, next to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, in Washington DC.

Brenton has taken it upon himself to help guests discover their ‘new favorite drink’, when they visit his bar. He says, “Everybody walks up and does the same thing. They look at all the bottles back there – but you know they’ll always get the same drink.” Brenton’s goal is to get them to taste something different, explaining, “There are something like 20,000 different cocktails on the market today. There are so many possibilities. It’s fun to create new drinks.”

California-born Brenton first came to the Nation’s Capital as part of his Navy training. After completing standard boot camp in Chicago, Spratlen was selected to do an additional 2-month boot camp in Washington, which launched his 2-year tour under President Clinton. He participated in special ceremonies at the White House, including Clinton’s second inauguration. He often stood guard, during such events, without moving a muscle, for several hours at a time.

Divulging strict training procedure, he says, “We trained standing perfectly still for 20 minutes. Gradually, we built up to 4 hours.” Part of that training included pushing the soldier’s hat further back on his head so the sun would shine directly on his face, to practice not squinting. Reflecting on his time in the military, he laughs and says, “I didn’t really know what I was getting into.”

After patrolling the Mediterranean, for eight months, during the Kosovo crisis, Brenton eventually got an honorable discharge and decided to stick around DC, where he has now lived for eight years.

Brenton’s first bartending job was at the Sports Club LA. Later, he went to work at the Washington Plaza Hotel’s pool bar, where he DJ’d, too, until his equipment got stolen. From there he went over to Blue Gin, where he still serves drinks, on the weekends. Two months ago, however, his bartending career came full-circle when he came back to Sports Club LA, as Bar Manager.

Music is Brenton’s other passion. He says he spends 95% of his ‘off time’ dealing with music. “I DJ at clubs, or at my house. I love creating compilation discs for bars. Nearly all the compilation CDs you hear at Blue Gin are mine. I like to create a mood.”

Brenton comes across as a happy guy who is doing what he enjoys, which makes him an asset to the nighttime scene. Whether spinning records or mixing libations with which to enjoy the ambiance he creates, he’s the kind of guy that draws customers back for more. “I love bartending itself. I think I’ll always be a bartender. On the side, at least.”

The Liquid Muse wants to know:

*Where do you like to go for a night out?
I like discovering new places, but for me its all about the mood. When I’m not working, I still like going to Blue Gin. I also like Mate and Chi Cha Lounge.

*What do you order?
Stoli raspberry, chilled, straight up.

2 comments:

BBT said...

Drinking is pretty fun

An old old friend from P-ville said...

I'm in shock to see you!