This bartender profile is brought to you by Somersby Hard Apple Cider. Find out where you can try Somersby here.
Meet Rollie Flasch, 30. Bartender, Rumor Upbeat Lounge ...
OnMilwaukee.com: Tell us about yourself.
Rollie Flasch: I grew up in West Bend. Went to school up there, and grew up riding my bike. I moved to Milwaukee about five years ago and started working at Jimmy John’s, and eventually worked my way into Cans (bar on Milwaukee’s East Side that is now School Yard Bar and Grill ) starting as a bar back. Then, worked my way up to manager there.
OMC: How long have you been tending bar?
RF: About 5-6 years.
OMC: Tell us about your early experiences bartending: why you got into it, why you like it.
RF: I liked it a lot because it’s fast-paced and I adapted really well. They’d give me my tasks and I’d get stuff done when it would need to be done. I began watching other bartenders around me, and I thought it was really fun. They eventually worked me up to the front bar at Cans, and I was then bartender half of the time. I worked my way into taking over that.
OMC: What’s it like tending bar here?
RF: I was working here and at Cans for a while. Cans was college kids, and when I came here I was dealing with adults, and I liked that a lot more. They knew what they wanted to drink, they didn’t care what it was going to cost and they would tip you no matter what. It was nice coming from a college crowd to a more adult-oriented place.
It’s an interesting place, because some nights it’s a club, some nights it’s a lounge and some nights it’s a sports bar. A little of everything. The crowd that comes in, too, is a little bit of everybody, so I have fun with that.
OMC: What are your favorite and least favorite drinks to make?
RF: My favorite would be High Life and a shot of whiskey, but I like doing it all. I make martinis. I really don’t have one that I don’t like serving.
OMC: Is there something right now that’s super-hot or super-trendy?
RF: We’ve always had the blueberry cosmo here. If you serve one, you’re going to be serving them the rest of the night. I like pushing new tequila products that I see. I’m a big fan of tequila. My favorite is Casamigos, the George Clooney one. It’s definitely one to try if you’re a tequila guy.
OMC: What about beer? What’s the most popular?
RF: We do a lot of Coronas here. Right now we’re switching over to getting Milwaukee Brewing and other local stuff. We’re not really a beer bar. The ones we do have are Miller Lite, Bud Lite and Corona. We’re not really a micro beer bar; more liquor and basic beer. I’m trying to push the micros on people, though. I like to have the option.
OMC: What’s the most popular thing that people are ordering every night?
RF: The blueberry cosmo and the raspberry lemonada. If a girl gets that and has a friend try it, then they get that, too, and it goes right down the line. It happens almost every time we have a party here.
OMC: Do you see any similar thing with guys?
RF: No, not really. Maybe shots.
OMC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen tending bar? Good, bad, ugly?
RF: It was at Cans, definitely, during pub crawls, probably. The Shamrock Shuffle and Summer Soulstice, too. Down here, it’s Summerfest.
OMC: Who are better tippers, men or women?
RF: I think it varies. It depends on the person and how you present yourself.
OMC: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
RF: I ride Freestyle BMX. I do the shows at Summerfest and things like that. I also did the voiceovers for Zero in Wisconsin. Donald Driver does the "Buckle Your Seatbelt" one and I do the "Drive Sober." I did the commercials for that. They found us through the Summerfest BMX stuff and decided that they wanted us to do a commercial. They did a skateboarding one and a BMX one, and they decided that they wanted to release an app, so I did all of the voiceovers for the app, too.
OMC: What’s your Somersby recipe?
RF: Spiced caramel apple martini.:
- 2 oz. Somersby
- 1 oz. Captain Morgans
- Splash cranberry juice
- Apple slice with caramel sauce
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.