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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 25, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

Joe's ready to craft or draft one for ya. (PHOTO: Royal Brevväxling )

Featured bartender: Joe D'Acquisto at The Pfister Hotel's Lobby Bar

It was a year of "now or never" for The Pfister Lobby Bar bartender Joe D'Acquisto. D'Acquisto hopes to open a bar of his own in the near future and knew if he was going to travel, it would have to be before that happened.

And so the 24-year-old managed to visit dozens of cities and numerous countries.

He's now back in Milwaukee, with few travel plans for the upcoming year, but eager to make things happen here in Brew City. recently caught up with D'Acquisto, drank one of his celebrated Old Fashioneds, and talked dreams, drinks, art and the secret to a great s'more. How long have you been bartending at the Lobby Bar and did you bartend anywhere else before?

Joe D'Acquisto: I have been bartending at the hotel for about three years, both at Blu and Lobby Bar; I have also tended bar at The Best Place Tavern, a historic Pabst bar.

OMC: When you think back on interesting / unique / unusual customers, who comes to mind first?

JD: I guess the first thing that comes to mind is an older couple who went to the airport and took the next flight available, which happened to be to Milwaukee, and they loved it here. That is so awesome to me.

OMC: What's your favorite drink to make? What about to drink?

JD: Tap beer. Ha. Just kidding, I love to take the time to make a great craft cocktail, especially when the guest is willing to let me get a little creative. I know I make a really good Bloody Mary from scratch.

As for drinking though I'm definitely a seasonal drinker. I like IPAs and bourbon in the winter, wheat beers and vodka-based drinks in summer.

OMC: What's the worst pick-up line or hook-up encounter you've ever witnessed?

JD: I think the worst way to pick up anyone is to talk about how much money you have. It's seriously embarrassing to me to even have to listen to it. It's all about personality.

OMC: What are your goals / dreams / plans for the future?

JD: Big picture: I would like to stay in Milwaukee until I retire. Hopefully own a few bars and play a part in building Milwaukee. Eventually purchase a house in Europe and live six months here and six months overseas.

OMC: You collect art, right?

JD: I think so. I've acquired a lot of art over time. It's something that will stay with me for my entire life and I definitely look at is as a good investment. I have all sorts of art from jewelry to canvas to sculptures. About 90 percent is local, the majority is from good friends.

OMC: Where did you travel in 2013 and where do you plan to travel in 2014?

JD: I intentionally did a lot of traveling this past year. I knew if I was going to be opening a business soon I would be planted here for a while.

2013 was a great year for me. I went to to Seattle, Portland, Missoula, Minneapolis, two places in Michigan, Jacksonville, Chicago, Hilton Head, Savannah and I traveled overseas to Dublin, Barcelona, Porticello, Palermo, Milan, Budapest and Amsterdam.

The only travel plan so far in 2014 is to catch Arcade Fire in Montreal this upcoming August.

OMC: Any resolutions for 2014?

JD: I would say putting plans into work for my bar. This is something I know I have always wanted to do and I know the time is now.

OMC: Tell me two random things about yourself.

JD: I'm a foodie. Also, I hate the word 'foodie' and I really hate the two guys in the Sonic commercials. You said random, right?

OMC: What's the best tip you've ever received?

JD: I'd say the best tip I've ever got was to put a Reese's peanut butter cup in a s'more instead of just chocolate. That's a game changer right there.

– Molly Snyder is the current Pfister Narrator.


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