Get to Know James, the Wizard Behind the Bar
When you saunter into The Tipsy Goblin and perch yourself atop one of those weathered stools, the first person who’ll catch your eye is James. Known to his regulars simply as ‘James the Bartender’, he’s a permanent fixture in this quaint Akron watering hole. What you may not know, however, is that James recently received a unique honor for his craft—an honor that will make you look at your neighborhood bartender with newfound respect.
The Honor in Question: U.S Bartending Guild (USBG) Recognition
James, undeniably a staple in the local bar scene of Akron, has been named the United States Bartenders Guild’s (USBG) Bartender of the Year. Yes, that’s right! Our beloved, local mixmaster is now officially one of the best in the business, according to the largest guild of professional bartenders in the U.S.
USBG Evaluation Process
The USBG didn’t just blindly confer this recognition, it happened after a rigorous evaluation process. James competed against some serious talent in a series of tests that evaluated not just his skill behind the bar but also his knowledge of the alcoholic beverage industry, his commitment to responsible alcohol service, and his dedication to continually enhancing his craft.
A Journey into James’ Past
It seems impossible to think of James away from the bar, but there was a time when he was not defining Akron’s bar scene. His journey to the top is one that is as inspiring as it is illustrative of his dedication.
James, Before the Bartending
It all started when James was in school and worked part-time as a dishwasher at a local diner. One fateful day, a bartender called in sick, and James was coerced into filling in. He hasn’t looked back since. With service industry blood running through his veins, he honed his mixology skills under the watchful eyes of some of the greats in the industry, making each drink with zeal and innovation.
The Magic in James’ Mixes
Ask any of his patrons, and they’ll tell you. It isn’t just the drinks that make James special—it’s the performance, the art, and the passion he pours into each glass. His hands move in a well-choreographed dance, as if practiced a million times, mixing, shaking, stirring, and serving up not just beverages but an experience, a story.
From classics like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, to innovative concoctions like his signature “Akron Sunrise” — a tantalizing and uplifting cocktail of elderflower liquor, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and champagne — there is a swath of artistry in James’ drinks that perfectly captures his devotion and craft.
More Than Just an Award For James
This honor is not just about recognition for James, it encapsulates the essence of Akron’s growing and evolving bar scene. Akron’s vibrant palette of watering holes, each with its own unique vibe, is made more colorful thanks to folks like James. He stands as proof that the local food and beverage industry can produce talents who shine not just locally but nationally. James – Akron’s humble bartender, USBG’s Bartender of the Year, and everyone’s favorite barkeep.
Visit James at The Tipsy Goblin!
So next time you’re craving for a drink, you know your destination. Head down to The Tipsy Goblin, ask for James, and watch the magic unfold. Every bartender can pour a drink, but it’s not every day that you’ll meet one who can create a symphony in a glass like our favorite Akron Bartender, James.