Spirit Guide: Smells Like Team Spirit w/ Ralph DiTucci

April 22nd, 2014 — 5:44pm

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Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a bartender.  Since people know this about me, I frequently hear people enthusiastically declare, “I want to be a bartender!”  I understand that feeling!  Bartending is fun.  It’s way more fun than any job should ever be allowed to be.   It’s also a lot of hard work and a life of constant exhaustion, but mostly, “The Fun.”  A great deal of that fun comes from the time invested working and getting in sync with your teammates behind the bar.

I love other bartenders. Even if we’ve never worked together, I love what you do for people because I do it too!  I love the camaraderie that we forge in sweat and impossibly late nights and nicked fingers.  Mostly, I love being on a team.  I love helping my team propel forward to victory: another unforgettable night!  All of this = “The Fun.”

I’m currently a member of two teams.  I manage the 4100 Bar in Silverlake, where I’ve worked for the past thirteen years.  I love the comfort of my home away from home.  I’ve worked hard in this bar with some of the finest bar folk that I’ve ever met.  I love my current team and I miss my old teammates.

I also have the honor of managing the oldest bar in Los Angeles, the Golden Gopher, built Downtown in 1905.  There are amazing people who have worked at the Gopher for years.  They are part of the fabric of the neighborhood.  In addition to the veterans, there’s a fellow who’s been with us for three months who had never worked in a bar prior to joining us.  His enthusiasm to become a part of the team reminds all of us behind the bar of the reasons why we got into this business:  To have fun.  To meet people.  To share ourselves with those people.

Many of my bartender friends have left the business over the years, and the one thing that almost all of them tell me that they miss the most is the sense of being on a team.   I understand that feeling, too.  Cheers!

Ralph DiTucci / Director of Neighborhood Bars