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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

Nic Stanbro: dad by day, barkeep by night.

Featured bartender: Nic Stanbro of St. Francis Brewery


Nic Stanbro is relatively new to the St. Francis Brewery team, but he has many years of bartending experience. Stanbro enjoys the art of mixology, and as a connoisseur of good beer – particularly IPAs – working at a place where beer is brewed onsite is a good fit for him.

But the aspect of bartending that Stanbro likes best is that it has allowed him to be a stay-at-home dad for the past eight years. Standbro has two daughters and cares for an extended family member, as well.

OnMilwaukee.com recently stopped by St. Francis Brewery to have a couple of amber ales and a plate of catfish sticks while talking beer, mug clubs and the merits of little people.

OnMilwaukee.com: Where did you work before here?

Nic Stanbro: Mitchell's Fish Market in Brookfield Square and O'Connors Perfect Pint.

OMC: What do you do during the day?

NS: I'm a stay-at-home dad. I have two daughters, ages 8 and 6, but I also take care of my daughter's mother's 2-year-old.

OMC: Your daughter's mother's 2-year-old. OK, I got it. You must get along well with your ex ?

NS: Yes. We're best friends. My daughters are from different mothers. Both of them have 2-year-olds now with someone else, and one of the 2-year-olds I take care of. It works out well. I have been a stay-at-home dad for eight years. I potty trained, taught them to ride bikes, the whole "girl thing." Bladder infections, all that. I would do it again in a second. I love it.

My daughters are awesome. My youngest is the weirdest and most awesome person I have ever met. She's in K5. She refers to parents as kids' "owners." And her teacher said the class was having a discussion about how they can meet their goals and my daughter raised her hand and said, "How about we just say, 'hello goals, nice to meet you'?" and pretended to shake hands with the air.

Bartending works because I have to figure out a way to make some money, and most of it is at night and I get to do so much with my kids.

OMC: So being a stay-at-home dad you are probably familiar with children's television? Any shows over the years that you liked or didn't like?

NS: I had to watch so much "Dora" and I hated it. And I hated her cousin, Diego, too. "SpongeBob" I didn't mind. And I got them into some old stuff like "Pinky and The Brain" and "Ren & Stimpy." Now we basically watch "iCarly."

OMC: What do you like about being a dad?

NS: My kids really look up to me. My daughter calls me "super dad." They love me unconditionally and they help me be a kid again.

OMC: What's the deal with The Mug Club?

NS: For $50 a year, you get your own mug, which you leave here. Then there are all sorts of perks. You get discounts. You get to taste new beers before they're released. There are Mug Nights and parties where you get two free beers and appetizers. Basically, any time you buy a beer when you have a mug, you get more beer for less money. It's pretty cool.

OMC: What is your favorite drink to make?

NS: I like to make a drink I made up called the Milwaukee Mule. It's like a Moscow mule. I don't always have ginger ale, so this recipe uses ginger syrup.

OMC: What do you like to drink when you're on the other side of the bar?

NS: IPAs. Hendrick's straight up. Whiskey on the rocks. Tequila neat.

OMC: Where are you originally from and how long have you lived in Milwaukee?

NS: I was born in Kansas. I also lived in St. Louis. My parents moved here in 1999. My dad's in sales. I went to a lot of different schools. Milwaukee is the longest I've lived anywhere. My parents moved to Oregon, but I'm still here.

OMC: What do you like about Milwaukee?

NS: The people are great. I love the attitude. Summers are great. I do a lot of camping and it's awesome for that.

OMC: Where do you live?

NS: In West Allis.

OMC: Where in the world would you like to travel someday?

NS: In the short term, I'm going to go to the Caribbean. Long term, I would like to go to Thailand.

OMC: You seem like a very happy-go-lucky guy. Are you?

NS: For the most part, I'm pretty stress-free. I believe that if you don't like the way something looks, then look at it in another way.


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