Meet the Bartender: Bryce Ledbetter

MICHAEL DONAHUE / The Commercial Appeal
Bryce Ledbetter, bartender at Old Venice Pizza Company. Jan. 8 2013

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

MICHAEL DONAHUE / The Commercial Appeal Bryce Ledbetter, bartender at Old Venice Pizza Company. Jan. 8 2013

Age: 25

Title: Bartender at Old Venice Pizza Company.

Hometown: Memphis

How did you get into bartending? Eventually, I worked my way up into it (from starting as a server). I was begging to be one. The hours a little longer, but the money is better. I like the crowd that hangs around the bar. They tend to open up to you a little bit better. They tell me things; I tell them things; like to listen to stories. I'm a talker, obviously.

What makes a good bartender? Steady pace; perseverance, first and foremost. It's like you're kicking it in overdrive from serving. I get a little bored when I'm on the serving floor. Being in this is a different pace; it's a lot faster paced.

What's popular at your bar right now? Drink wise, I get a lot of people with "Straight up on the rocks." Any kind of brandy. Sometimes I get people who get a "Kiss on the Lips," one of our signature drinks. It's a secret. I can say it's rum based.

What's out of style now at bars? Scotch. Seems like it has gotten out of style.

Have you ever created a drink? I have played around with a few things. A "Purple Shooter." It's got some raspberry vodka and Razzmatazz with maybe a shot of Sprite in there to add the bubbles.

What's your favorite drink (mixed drink, wine or beer)? I'd have to go with a Sam Adams Winter Lager. I'm a big fan of Sam.

Who's the most famous person you served and what did he or she drink? Josh Pastner (University of Memphis head basketball coach). Water. He's a good guy. Real nice. Easy on the servers.

What are some of your other interests? I like to go hang out with friends. I've got a girlfriend and a child (on the way). It's a boy. She's due in about 10 weeks, a little less. I try to play sports as often as possible, exercise, golf, when the weather is permitting.

Old Venice Pizza Company is at 368 Perkins Ext.; 901-767-6872.

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