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In Bars & Clubs

Carol Armstrong wants to mix you a Bloody Mary.

Featured bartender: Carol Armstrong of Red Dot


For five years, Carol Armstrong has worked at Red Dot, 2498 N. Bartlett Ave., where she serves drinks and food, including the establishment's famous poutine (a Canadian dish that features Red Dot's signature fries or tater tots smothered in vegetarian gravy and melted cheese curds.)

Armstrong studied costume design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but for now, the 28-year-old native of Genoa City prefers making strong drinks over stage disguises.

Recently, OnMilwaukee.com tracked down Armstrong just before she left work to catch the Yonder Mountain String Band at The Pabst Theater and asked her about her work, her interests and her dreadlocks.

OnMilwaukee.com: What do you like about your job?

Carol Armstrong: The money is really good here, and I really like this neighborhood a lot. I live around here, so all of my patrons are my neighbors. There's a good sense of community here. And we have a small staff here, including my roommate!

OMC: What do you like to do in your free time?

CA: I really like to sew. I make clothes, like pants, skirts, dresses. And I have a dog, a husky shepherd chow mix named Dante.

OMC: You used to sew costumes for stage productions. What was the coolest costume you made?

CA: I got to make a really tiny costume for a puppet once.

OMC: How old are you?

CA: I'm 28. Wow, that was the first time I said that out loud. My birthday was just a month ago, and it's the first time anyone asked me my age since then.

OMC: What is the worst pick-up line you ever heard?

CA: I guy asked, "Do you sleep on your stomach?" I said, "Sometimes." And he said, "Can I?"

OMC: What is your specialty drink?

CA: I actually really like to make Bloody Marys. Not all bartenders do, but I like to drink them so I like to make them for myself and my customers.

OMC: What do you drink when you're not working?

CA: I like Moscow Mules: ginger beer, Russian vodka and lemon / lime (soda.)

OMC: How long have you been growing your dreads?

CA: For eight years. I got a really bad perm and stopped washing my hair with anything but soap to get it really natty and dry so it would dread.

OMC: Would you ever consider cutting them off?

CA: Yeah, but I don't know when. They are getting really long.

OMC: What's the worst part of your job?

CA: The hours can be a drawback. Always having to work through the dinner hour. Also, mopping and cleaning the bathrooms.

OMC: Ever clean up puke?

CA: Yeah, it was smelly.

OMC: Are Milwaukeeans good tippers?

CA: I think so. At least the regulars here are.

OMC: Where did you grow up?

CA: I grew up in in Genoa City, but I went to high school in Lake Geneva.

OMC: What makes Red Dot special?

CA: The poutine. People have come from Canada just to try it.


Talkbacks

reiver | Nov. 15, 2010 at 9:48 a.m. (report)

So nice to see the spotlight on Carol! Great bartender, awesome person!

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TosaJim | Nov. 13, 2010 at 10:42 a.m. (report)

Sorry, if I was rude...I apologize.

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admiral | Nov. 12, 2010 at 9:11 p.m. (report)

Carol is AWESOME. I love her cocktails!!!!

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Kay | Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:35 p.m. (report)

Yeah Carol!!!! If you dont know where the Red Dot is, you should. TosaJim.....seriously? why waste the space to say something like that. Its just plain rude.

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acf1971 | Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:21 p.m. (report)

YO! way to go Cous, I love Bloody Mary's, you will have to make one for me sometime. I do judge a restaurant by their bloody mary's! (ask Tracy about a bloody virgin drink). anyway... keep the dreadlocks - they are cool!

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