Meet the Server: Alex Hagerbaumer

Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal
Alex Hagerbaumer is a server/bartender at Itta Bena restaurant at B.B. King's Blues Club.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal Alex Hagerbaumer is a server/bartender at Itta Bena restaurant at B.B. King's Blues Club.

Title: Server/bartender at Itta Bena restaurant at B.B. King's Blues Club.

Age: 27

Hometown: Russia, near Moscow

What was your first food-related job? Ruby Tuesday (on) Winchester.

How did you get to be a server? I needed a job part time while I was going to college (University of Memphis). I needed some money. Everybody told me this is a good job if you like taking care of people. ... I did an interview with the manager and he said, "You seem like a good person. You smile a lot. ..." I said, "OK, yeah, I'll try it out." And I did and three months later they gave me permission to (be) bartender.

What makes a good server? They (guests) will be happy if you take good care of them.

Who's the biggest celebrity you've ever waited on? I met Norah Jones. Her dad is in a blues band, so he played downstairs and she did a special performance. They had ... cocktails and drinks after her dad played. … She's totally different from what you see on TV. She's so beautiful. She's really small. ... (Justin Timberlake) He seemed like a normal person just sitting at the bar, just eating food. ... I met John Stamos. ... When I came to America I watched Full House. He looks exactly the same. ... He was drinking vodka and Red Bulls.

Do you find yourself supercritical when you're being waited on in a restaurant or bar? I order a drink. I'm not impatient. I understand the server might be busy. ... But five minutes (later), "OK, what's going on?" Like after 10 minutes, I get critical. ... After 10 minutes you're not that busy to forget a table.

How much do you tip? I always tip 20 percent. ... And then if I'm at a bar and my friend's bartending, I usually tip them a little bit more because they'll make my drink stronger 'cause they know me.

What are some of your interests outside of working in a restaurant? I grew up in Russia, so I always played soccer, so I like soccer.

Itta Bena is on the third floor of B.B. King's Blues Club at 145 Second; 901-578-3031.

© 2012 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.