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maribeth zanone, 28. jo federigo's

What's your favorite piece of clothing for work?

The monkey drinking the absinthe tank top. It's very retro.

How long does it take you to get ready for work?

About 40 minutes. I'm much more about the accessories than the hair and makeup. I really dig all the little hair clips everybody in town is making. And of course anything low cut up top because I definitely do this for all the interesting people I meet.

What's your favorite lipstick?

My lips are just really red naturally so I usually go with the Superbalm from Clinique because it's really, really shiny.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Sometimes. I'll give you his phone number and you can ask him.

What's he going to say about this?

He probably won't be surprised — I'm a huge flirt. I met him in a bar while I was working years ago.

Does sex appeal sell drinks and do you use it to sell drinks?

Not really. I use it to establish repeat customers, but I'm really just a big flirt so most of the time it's not fake.

What is the worst thing that's happened to you while working? (Maribeth wanted to get back to us on this one so her response came via e-mail)

My worse case scenario happened in the first bar I worked at in New Jersey. A very, very large man tried to walk out on his tab. I was alone in this little Irish pub and 22 years old. I was not going to pursue it too far.

As it turned out he tried to mug me and my girlfriend later that night as we were leaving. In Jersey most of the bars sell packaged goods and she had a six-pack in a plastic sack. Her, being more bold than I, swung it right into his head and we ran back inside. The cops arrested him and six months later when he came back into the bar and tried to order a drink from me.

So whereas I was never held at gunpoint or witnessed a huge fight or anything like that, I would say that night six years ago far eclipsed anything I've experienced, thankfully, here in Eugene.

How long have you been bartending?

Six years, which I think qualifies me to have my doctorate in psychology.

What's the best tip you've ever gotten?

That would be a few years ago, someone gave me tickets to the Hult Center to see Driving Miss Daisy [a Willamette Repertory performance] and that was the first time I'd been to the Hult, so it was really cool.

What do you think of the thong hanging out of the pants look?

I think that's dumb.

What is sexy?

I dig the low cut jeans, but they don't need to go any lower. I love the boy cut panties for the ladies. I'm over the mod, shaggy haircut for the guys, they need to cut it or grow it out. I think sexy is so much more about attitude than what you're wearing.

What's the difference between sexy, slutty and hoochie?

The day of the week. I just think that it's fun to play with all of those definitions. Sexy is classic and timeless, but slutty and hoochie can be fun too.    



mike neria, 33. the black forest

So how did you get so many votes? It was a landslide. Did you just call all your friends and get them to vote?

We put up a big sign up and laptop out.

What's your reaction to winning?

To be honest with you, there's not a lot of male bartenders in this town. I can guarantee there are 300 to 400 female bartenders in this town. But the competition for the guys isn't that much.

You're married right?

Seven years. No, eight years. Tami [Neria] and I own the Black Forest together.

So do you wear a wedding ring?

Oh yeah.

Do you flirt with your clients?

No, I just play the shy guy. It seems to work well for me.

How long have you been a bartender?

A year and a half, since we opened the bar. Before this I was a suit-and-tie guy. I was a contract administrator.

How long does it take you to get ready for work?

Five minutes. I just throw on clothes and put gel in my hair. It's more about always being polite, always smiling. I don't think there's a single picture of me where I don't have a big cheesy grin on my face. I just smile a lot.

What are your favorite work clothes?

Tight t-shirts and jeans with holes in them. I have this one Ralph Lauren shirt I love. It shows off my pierced nipples very well.

And is that something you want people to see?

Not necessarily, you can just see them.

What is sexy for a guy?

Dark I guess, good hair, muscle tone — that's what people want to see. They don't want to see some fat, unshaven guy behind the bar. Eye candy, right? That's what the whole thing is about.

Does sex sell in the bartending biz?

Definitely. If you have a bunch of employees who look really good you're going to have more business. That's why places like Hooters do so well. People don't go there for the wings and the $25 champagne. But you've got to have the attitude too. This is the bar industry. You've got to be able to draw the line, cut the shit, slam the stick down on the bar and say "Get out of my bar."


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