Bartender profile: Pete Marshall of the Milwaukee Brat House
With a fun, outgoing and friendly personality, Pete Marshall is a natural behind the bar at the Milwaukee Brat House, 1013 Old World 3rd St..
Surprisingly, he hasn't been slinging drinks very long – in fact, he hasn't even been in Milwaukee (or the United States, for that matter) very long, either.
But on a whim, he found the city and the job to be a perfect fit in his life.
The Chelsea supporter also does a pretty good Russel Brand impression.
Marshall took some time recently to talk about his life at the tapper.
OnMilwaukee.com: How long have you been bartending?
Pete Marshall: The Brat House is my first bartending job, and I've been doing it a year and a half.
OMC: You're one of many Englishmen at the Brat House; how did you end up in Milwaukee and at the Brat House?
PM: I was raised in England and came to Milwaukee originally on a holiday. I enjoyed it so much it became home nine months later. I ended up working at the Brat House by pure chance, I stopped in one day and inquired about a position and here I am.
OMC: Is Milwaukee similar to "back home" at all? How do you compare/contrast the two bar cultures?
PM: Milwaukee has a lot of similarities to England in the drinking culture, and Milwaukee's European feel, particularly on Old World 3rd Street, definitely helps that. The differences are that American bar culture (to sit at the bar and interact with the bartender) isn't really practiced in the United Kingdom, over here you are more than a drink slinger, you are an entertainer.
OMC: How does the Brat House compare to pubs back home?
PM: The Brat House is very similar to a European pub, it definitely has that feel to it. I would say its most like the type of Irish bar you find in New York, and was in fact based on the famous McSorleys (which, like the Brat House, serves its beer in pairs) and a few other bars in the city.
OMC: Do you have a "signature drink?"
PM: My specialty drink is the Mint Snickers, it is exactly how it sounds.
OMC: When you're having a cocktail, what do you prefer?
PM: I enjoy Strongbow and Magners Cider.
OMC: Do you drink when you're behind the bar?
PM: Yes we do drink behind the bar To be honest, I'm hung over right now from last nights Halloween Party!
OMC: What's the best and worst part of your job?
PM: I love to meet new people and see everybody have a good time at the bar. I hate the very few rude people that I have come across while bartending. It shouldn't take a lot to be polite. My biggest pet peeve is when people don't believe me that I'm not Australian.
OMC: You hear about guys trying to pick up female bartenders a lot. How about girls trying to pick you up... do you hear a lot of pick-up lines?
PM: Worst pick up line I've heard was from a guy to a female bartender at the Brat House, after a refusal of lunch. He brought in a seafood pizza that he claimed to have made. It looked like it had been vomited on, seemed dubiously untrustworthy and made the bar smell like a fisherman's underpants. It wasn't a pick up line as such, but it certainly didn't work.
OMC: How do you stop serving somebody who has had a few too many?
PM: The trick to stop serving people is to always maintain politeness and enforce hydration through water, never fails.
OMC: This is a pretty tame place for the most part. Have you had to break up any fights?
PM: We haven't seen much fighting at the Brat House. We try to keep morale high amongst the patrons. If arguments ever get heated I just get right in the middle but that's rare.
OMC: What's the craziest thing that's happened at the Brat House?
PM: Every shift brings something crazy at the Brat House. We have it all, girls dancing on the bar, staff -- usually me -- sleeping in the basement, a unnamed regular gyrating to Steve Winwood's song "Higher Love" on the floor at during a dinner rush. And the antics of Wayne The Sidewinder (an older bar regular) are the stuff of legends.
OMC: I've always thought the food here is very underrated. Do you eat here, and what do you enjoy?
PM: I love the Brat House menu. Our brats were written up in Maxim Magazine. They proclaimed us as one of the 77 places to dine before you die -- so make sure you do. Usingers brat bathed in Schlitz and onions served on our pretzel roll. It's perfect. I also love out beercheese soup.
OMC: How do you feel about the smoking ban?
PM: I don't mind the smoking ban. It's probably added an extra five years to my life as I'm not a smoker and I think it created a nice social area in the beer garden and outside the front of the bar.
OMC: When you're not behind the bar, what do you like to do?
PM: I have very little time away from work, but I watch football (soccer), drink and enjoy trying new places in the city to eat.
Wayner (Wayne the Sidewinder) is nothing short of epic. He once told me that I am more fun than a herd of turtles.
Pete is very friendly chap and a pleasure to talk with. He also serves up a great Stoli Seltzer. Pleasure to look at also:)
I like pete. He doesn't know who I am but I always enjoy his accent. Come to think of it, there are a bunch of accents in there.
great choice for bartender profile. i've had many a drink when pete's working. the guy is lots of fun just don't tell him lampard is overrated :-)
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