Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ryan "Burns" Wilmsmeier of the Bleeding Deacon: Gut Check's Featured Bartender of the Week

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This is part one of Alissa Nelson's two-part profile of Bleeding Deacon bartender Ryan Wilmsmeier. Part one is accessible here.

Easy on the sweet vermouth: A classic Manhattan cocktail, mixed by Ryan Wilmsmeier of the Bleeding Deacon Public House in south St. Louis. - ALISSA NELSON
  • Alissa Nelson
  • Easy on the sweet vermouth: A classic Manhattan cocktail, mixed by Ryan Wilmsmeier of the Bleeding Deacon Public House in south St. Louis.

In three words, how would you describe your bartending style? Classic. Simple. Strong.

Favorite drink to drink? Manhattan.

Favorite drink to make? Manhattan. I feel like I make it well, and people seem to like them.

A drink you hate making? Complicated shots that taste like candy. They're no fun to make, they're hard and people don't appreciate them.

What makes you ignore a customer at the bar? Snapping their fingers, whistling -- you're not going to get my attention that way. It's pretty obvious if I'm ignoring you.

  • Alissa Nelson

Can you spot trouble as soon as it walks through your door? Usually they've got that swagger and that look on their face. But sometimes there's somebody that surprises you, and after an hour at the bar they snap.

Best and worst song on the jukebox? None of them are terrible, but I'm sick of hearing Bel Biv DeVoe's "Poison." I'd be happy never hearing "Bicycle Race" [by Queen] ever again. I like it whenever anyone plays anything by Darkness.

Best and worst thing you've seen happen in your bar? I've had to throw somebody out for groping a girl, and one for swinging a beer bottle over his head. One of the funniest things I've ever seen happen is a group of people who were drunk and dancing to the jukebox when they fell down, and then refused to get up for about ten minutes.

How do you keep yourself occupied on a slow night? I work on coming up with new drinks, read books or play with my iPod.

Who would you most like to have a drink with? Joe Strummer.

Where are you most likely to be found when you're not in this bar? Either A&M Bicycles [where he works a few days a week] or the Silver Ballroom.

Best hangover cure? I still have yet to find one that works. Emergen-C, lots of water and fried food.

Worst pickup line you've witnessed? This is not really a bar where people come for that. Lots of people come on dates, but nobody is really getting picked up, and I'm okay with that.

Most unusual liquor you've encountered? We have a Tang vodka. That and bubblegum vodka are really popular here.

If you could start a band, what kind of band would you start? A punk band. I've listened to punk since I was sixteen, and I still love it.

Best and worst drinking holiday? St. Patrick's Day is just not a fun day to work. For some people it's the only day they drink, and they just don't seem to know how to act in bars or how to act around other people. Any drinking holiday seems like a bad idea to me. Let's all just drink all the time.

Biggest tab you've ever seen? Probably pushing $170 or $180 for one person.

Drunk food of choice? Fried eggs over easy and French fries.

Three adjectives that describe your bar. Dark. Smoky. Loud.

My bar is the only bar in St. Louis where... You can see mopeds and scooters on the walls.

Click through to see a video of Wilmsmeier mixing a classic Manhattan cocktail...

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