Ryan R. | Bartender/Bar Manager
Years of Industry Service: 15
Ryan was born in Kansas City but raised in Jefferson City, Missouri. He's lived in Boston, Denver three times and had a four-month stretch camping out at Yellowstone. Although he's back in Kansas City now, he travels frequently and has made his way through most of Western Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and in four short weeks, he will be in Nicaragua. "It's a great job, if you want to take two months off to go traveling, you can and your job will be there when you get back," he says. "I like to get away about 3-4 times a year, whether it's three hours a way or seventeen, it doesn't really matter." Being in the service industry affords him the time and luxury to travel as often as he does, but those days might be fewer and further between now that he's on the management side.
He started in the kitchen when he was sixteen and made his behind the bar at Vinny Testa's, a restaurant outside of Boston when he was 20-years-old. "When I started, it was fruity and daiquiris, now they want Manhattans and Aviations. Definitely, the cocktail culture has shifted, for sure." For a while he was mostly a beertender, and then he got into wine. "The reason I like wine is the same reason I like craft beer. It's a quest for knowledge. Wine will never get boring because it always changes."
Ryan used to live across the street from me, during my first stint at working from home. We'd have similar late night hours; anytime I was sitting on my front porch drinking, so was Ryan. We'd shout over to each other and/or end up merging onto one porch to shoot the shit and play neighborhood watch. Some nights we saw raccoons wreaking havoc on our garbage cans. Other nights we'd be saving our totally drunk nursing-student neighbors from falling face-first down our hill and propping them back up against their own doors. Mostly, Ryan and George liked to gab on (and on and on and on and on and on) about wine.
Ryan likes to disc golf and travel (of course); he spends his free time cooking and having people over for dinner. We were the lucky recipients of his most current meal: curry chicken and rice. I know for a fact, he also likes to drink. He looks kinda funny without a beard. He loves Katy Perry and wearing flip flops. And although I question his choice of footwear, he was a good neighbor and is still definitely a great friend and drinking buddy.
Make KC Better » Public transportation.