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Food And Wine
YONI COHEN \
Ask the Barman: Naughty but nice
Veteran bartender Ron has had enough. It’s not that she hasn’t enjoyed her long and varied career as a bartender in Tel Aviv, it’s just that the 32-year-old “good girl” is seeking the quiet life and looking forward to evenings spent in front of the television instead of behind a noisy bar.She’s ending her bartending career at Tel Aviv favorite Otto. Set just off Rothschild Street, behind Max Brener, Otto caters for the 25-30 crowd with mainstream music blasting from the speakers and a strict no smoking inside policy enforced. This gives the place a slightly more clean cut feel compared with a lot of other places in Tel Aviv.While popular with tourists, Otto is mainly a locals’ hangout for those that want to enjoy a drink in a relaxed atmosphere with chart music playing in the background. Ron’s years of experience shine as she effortlessly serves the customers while always keeping a smile on her face. Although it’s a quiet mid-week evening, the atmosphere is still alive, with the slightly older crowd huddling around the bar to unwind.How did you get into bartending?A long time ago. I had a friend who had a bar so a group of girls went to work there and I stayed with it. Did you do a course?No. I just picked up the skills I needed while on the job. Who would be your dream customer to serve?Messi. Lionel Messi.Why?I like him a lot. I like his team [Barcelona]. I only really like football because of him.What drink would you serve him and why?A Negroni cocktail because it’s an interesting drink, like him. It has a lot of character.What’s your favorite drink in to serve in general?Single malt whisky.How do you like it?Without ice. Well maybe one cube, but no more than that. I like it neat. I don’t like to mix it.What’s your least favorite drink to serve? Any kind of soft drink.Why?You know, if you’re coming to a bar then drink something more interesting.What’s the best tip you’ve ever received?I can’t actually remember but I’ve had some glory days along the way. I think the economic situation has affected things recently. But I guess the most I have ever received is about NIS 400 from a big table.What does it take, in your opinion, to be a good bartender?Good social interaction. I’m a different kind of bartender though because I am not a typical one.Why not?I don’t look bad or cool. I look like a good girl.So why do you think you are a good bartender?I’m good because I work hard and I do the work fast.What’s the craziest night you have ever had?The nights when you get on top of the bar and dance with all the customers, those are the crazy nights. Those mornings when you wake up and think “did I just do that? Did I just dance like J-Lo?”How long have you been working here at Otto?About six months, but I’m about to leave. This is the end of my bartending career.So what’s the plan of action for when you leave the world of bartending?Find a regular morning job.So the crazy hours have finally taken their toll?I thought it’s okay because you can enjoy the sun in the summer time and go to the beach during the day but now I want to be at home in the evenings. 45 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel AvivTel: 077-434-0764
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