Andrew Lostetter of Marquee Bar knows when opportunity comes along, you jump. Take for example the story of how he first became a bartender. “I was working as a server at a Tex-Mex restaurant out in East Texas,” he recalls. “I had just sent in an order for a margarita and was waiting for it at the bar. That’s when I saw the bartender getting into an argument with the manager. It obviously was a bad one, because she flipped the manager off and then walked out the front door. I told the manager I needed my drink. He asked, ‘Can you make it yourself?’ and I said ‘Of course.’” Bada bing, bada boom.
Today, Andrew is beverage director at the swank Marquee Bar, located above the new Village Kitchen in Highland Park Village. Buckle up, this gets confusing. The Village Kitchen now operates in the space formerly occupied by Tre Wilcox’s Marquee Grill, which closed its doors in early August. The new location hopes to offer more options for everyone. You see, the Village’s high-profile northeast corner is undergoing a chrysalis. At the time of this article, construction workers were busy hammering out the space next door to Marquee Bar for yet another kitchen, a Japanese-themed sushi house named Toko V. “If you come to the Marquee Bar, you can order food from Village Kitchen downstairs or from Toko V. There’s even a Paciugo located in the same complex downstairs.” It’s, you know, like one-stop shopping for the upscale urban lounger in all of us.
Tell me something about yourself most people don’t know.
I’m kind of an introvert. I think I get all of my social needs met while I’m behind the bar. When I’m off work I don’t want to go out. I usually just want to go to a have lunch by myself or read a book, maybe do something with a small group.
What’s a misconception people have about bartenders?
People don’t understand how tightly knit the community is, how close we all are. For instance, I’m an avid snowboarder and a few years ago I had a major accident. I broke my back and bruised my hip, which meant I was out of work for five months. I had insurance at the time, but it was a really high deductible. My bartending friends came through for me. They had a fundraiser over at The Standard Pour and had another one here at the Marquee Bar. It was amazing and I’m extremely thankful to them for it.
What advice would you give to a beginning bartender?
Respect the job, respect the craft and all the people that have done it before you. Study. Treat it as a profession. Part of it is having fun and setting an atmosphere, but you should also take pride in your job. You should read up on the history of cocktails and of different bartenders. Read. There are a million books written on the subject.
What’s your bartending pet peeve?
Not putting things back in the right place. Everything has a place, whether it’s putting a bottle of alcohol or shaker tins back where they go. If everything static, you’re so much more efficient. You have more time to talk with your guests.
What’s the craziest thing a drunk customer has ever done?
This was at a nightclub I was working at. A guy pissed in the corner on a plant. Well, we didn’t realize it until we found it later, but it soon became obvious what the guy had been doing.
For more info: Marquee Bar/Village Kitchen/Toko V is located at #33 Highland Park Village, Dallas, Texas, 75235; (214) 522-6035.