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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

You'll find Clint both at the clubby Boom and next door at the more sophisticated Room. (PHOTO: Michael Seidel)

In Bars & Clubs

Ask Clint about the brandy from 1835 that is $125 a shot. (PHOTO: Michael Seidel)

Featured bartender: Clint Walker of Boom & The Room


If you've gone out drinking in Walker's Point in the last couple of years, chances are you've seen Clint Walker. After getting his start at The Harbor Room on East Greenfield Avenue, he moved on to a long stint at Woody's and is now slinging drinks at Boom and The Room, two adjacent gay bars within the same building at 625 and 623 S. 2nd St.

Usually, you'll find Clint at Boom, the fast-paced, dancey, more traditional of the two. But on Fridays -- the only night of the week The Room is open for cocktail hour -- Clint is there working the posh bar that attracts more of a mixed crowd -- and he pours a mean martini.

The bar in The Room projects a warm orange glow throughout the spacious room and Diana Ross and the Supremes keep the pace from two flat screen TVs. It's visibly crowded, yet hardly feels that way. The people here are patient, allowing Clint plenty of time to answer a few questions about his bartending tenure in Milwaukee.

OMC: How long have you been a bartender?

CW: I started at the Harbor Room in 2005, worked at Woody's for a while and now I'm here. Boom is open every day of the week, but The Room only does one cocktail hour a week, and that's is it. We have 23 gar bars in the city -- it's just too competitive to be open every day.

OMC: What is your signature drink?

CW: Probably a homemade old fashioned. It has to be homemade -- don't use that damn mix. We do use the mix here, but I learned how to make them by hand at the Harbor Room, and if someone specifically asks for it, I can do it. But this is a high volume business, so unless they ask, it's probably going to be the mix, which is 95 percent sugar.

OMC: What's the most ridiculous thing you've seen a bar patron do?

CW: I've seen a guy come out of the bathroom and dance naked before. I mean, dance! Like, some archaic dance from the '30s or '40s -- and I think he'd been through that era too. I just asked him to please put his clothes back on and go on.

OMC: Have you ever been in or broken up a bar fight?

CW: Yeah. A guy was annoying everyone so we had to subdue him outside. We didn't get into a full-fledged fight -- I've never had one where there were stools flying or any of that. I have had to escort people out and wait for the police while I sat on them, though.

But in over two years -- in three bars -- I have managed to throw maybe five people out total. I don't chuck people out. I'll tell you it's time to go home, but I won't throw you out unless you really get on my nerves.

OMC: Best / worst pickup lines in bar?

CW: It's not so much lines as it is the 80-year-old guys hitting on the 22-year-olds. It just doesn't work.

OMC: Does anyone ever hit on you?

CW: Every day.

OMC: What's the best / worst part about the job?

CW: It's a great bar to work at. It's probably the nicest gay bar in city with high-end drinks. ("That's a $12 dollar martini you're sipping on," he tells me.) We have whole families of vodka here -- probably every vodka on the market right now. You get a lot of nice folks in here.

There really aren't that many drawbacks to working here. The worst thing that ever happened to me as a bartender was I had a drunk guy spitting on the floor. I asked him to stop and he wouldn't stop, so I had to escort him out and he proceeded to spit in my face.


Talkbacks

netkismet | April 4, 2014 at 8:23 p.m. (report)

I called the club in regards to a very special girls' night out tonight just now and asked if Clint walker would be there tonight for Karaoke (AS advertised) BUT the person who spoke to me on the phone was very rude, could barely talk his speech was so slurred: and knew absolutely nothing about Karaoke, or clint walker, etc. i will be certain to never darken Their doorway due to this rather distressing lack of competent customer service.

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jeffh | Feb. 24, 2008 at 7:02 p.m. (report)

didnt he get fired from all them bars??

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