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Tasha Barber from Oyster's Pearl is bartender of the week

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With a bubbly personality, a bright smile and her skill in the bar and kitchen, Tasha Barber is a girl that people want to get to know. She created and now operates Wineberry Bakery, which sells fresh baked goods that also use local products to make. But more than that, Tasha also tends bar at Oyster's Pearl and Mosaic Catering & Events.

Barber, 21, hails from Taylorstown, Va. but came to Richmond, Va. for school. She attends Virginia Commonwealth University and studies fashion merchandising. She received her bartending certificate from the Professional Bartending Academy of Richmond. Since then, she has worked at a few restaurants, but has now settled down at Oyster's Pearl and Mosaic.

As one of my good friends, I can honestly say that Barber is one of the most open and friendly people that I know. Because she is so personable, she really attempts to get to know the customers who come to her bar. Rather than letting them be just another face on a bar stool, she takes time to understand what the customer wants.

"I actually enjoy it when people ask me to make a drink up for them," Barber said. "It's a fun way to be creative and start a conversation with your customer." She added that her favorite part of her job is getting to know new and interesting people all of the time. Though she acknowledges that customer service can sometimes be a tough or irritating job, she says that since she deals with the alcohol, most of her patrons are usually pretty happy.

For herself, Barber prefers to drink craft beer. She said that lately she has been enjoying Limited Releases such as Hopslam from Bell's Brewery and Troeg's Nugget Nectar. Her favorite thing about craft beer is bold, full flavor and full-bodied brews. She also incorporates her love for beer into her baking. Her Etsy shop, Wineberry Bakery, boasts food items such as brown ale bread and jalapeno cheddar IPA cornbread.

When asked about the strangest thing she has experienced while tending bar, Barber said, "One guy got really angry about two women going into the bathroom together. He proceeded to curse several people out and then punched a hole through the wall." However, wall-punchers are not her usual clientele, so as long as you can keep your cool and relax, I'm sure that Barber would love to see your faces at Oyster's Pearl.

Oyster's Pearl is a seafood restaurant located at 1401 Roseneath Road in the Scott's Addition section of Richmond. Barber currently tends bar there on Thursday, as well as most Fridays and Saturdays. And as a final note, her 22nd birthday is next Friday, so be sure to go out, say hello, and help the bartender of the week enjoy a few drinks!

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