As Westword's Ask the Bartender columnist, I've talked with many bartenders for Cafe Society's "Behind the Bar" series, posing numerous questions to Denver's top bartenders...and often receiving the same answers: "I love chartreuse," or "I'm really into smoked cocktails/barrel aging/bottled cocktails."
Some time ago, a Facebook friend posted 25 things about himself that most people weren't aware of -- and then he tagged me in the post, at which point I was supposed to do the same: rattle off 25 little-known facts about myself and ask someone else to follow suit. Instead, I'm asking Denver's bartenders to get up and close with Westword readers and share 25 lesser known tidbits about themselves -- and then name the next bartender that I should interview.
In mid-August, ten Denver bartenders and I participated in a Habitat for Humanity day in the Globeville neighborhood. The temperature hovered around 98 degrees, and we were up on a roof all day, so to say that we were hot and dirty would be an understatement. By the time we were done, we really needed an ice-cold beer, and we knew that Crash 45, this eclectic bar owned by artist, welder and musician Shane Evans, was around the corner, but unfortunately it wasn't open. Luckily, we were with Mike Huggins, owner of Arvada Tavern, who happens to be friends with Crash 45's manager-cook-bartender Patrick Karbon, so Mike gave him a call, and Patrick was kind enough to open his doors early for our filthy, sweaty lot. The tequila and beer flowed, and I fell in love with the quirky little bar. And Karbon is the perfect host, not to mention everything else a bartender should be. I highly encourage you to check out Crash 45.
In this week's edition of "25 things," Karbon tells us how he flipped Eminem's studio, invites us to the world's largest jart tournament and reveals that he hosts a dating game at Crash 45.
1. I got the job at Crash by picking up my friend at the airport
2. I used to flip houses in Detroit and am now an active real estate broker in Denver
3. I'm a fully certified AASI snowboard instructor
4. While flipping houses, my real estate partner and I bought the same studio that Eminem cut his Slim Shady LP in.
5. That studio led to the creation of ALP, LLC, a post-production studio that two friends and I created. I'm no longer a partner, but you should totally check them out at www.alpmusic.com.
6. Some friends and I are forming a team to race the Baja 500, hopefully next year.
7. While I love serving drinks to the awesome people that come into Crash, I'm usually in the kitchen, so if you order a Crashburger, pop on back and say "Hi."
8. I ran the Bulldog Bar before it became Lost Lake. Those guys have done a great job turning it into a kick-ass bar and music venue.
9. I started hosting The Dating Game at Crash on the second Tuesday of the month, so get some guts and come participate. I promise: It's not speed dating.
10. I hate listening to people complain at work but understand the need to vent. Just know that it fuels my silent rage
11. I'm allergic to most dogs and cats like, really bad, but I love them both anyway.
12. Mike Huggins, owner of the Arvada Tavern, some awesome friends and I run the largest Jart tournament in the world, which takes place in Denver every July. Join Jart Club on Facebook and register for next years tournament at www.jartclub.com.
13. On my days off, you can find me playing poker or euchre.
14. I'm from Dearborn, Michigan.
15. I have a 1971 Honda XL250 that I'm turning into a cafe racer. It's my first bike/project, and I haven't started on it yet.
16. I run a chess club for the youth group across the street from Crash. They're elementary school hustlers called the Street Kidz. They bought right tournament sets and now we're training for regionals.
17. I love bacon, whiskey and black coffee for breakfast while camping.
18. I live with Shane Evans, owner of Crash 45, and have been privileged to watch him build some of the most impressive metal art and projects that I've ever seen
19. When I'm cooking, I get to work with one of the hottest bartenders in Denver, Eleanor Cheetham. Come say hello to her. But don't be a creep.
20. I cut the sleeves off most of my t-shirts.
21. I like Dr. Dre, Mars Volta and playing the drums.
22. I played the accordion when I was little and can still "squeeze" out a tune or two -- haw!
23. I'm the middle son of three boys and we're all 2-1/2 years apart. My brothers are my best friends aside from my boy Huggins. Holla at yo, boy!
24. My favorite drink right now is Deep Eddy's sweet tea and water. Props to my boy Cory Lottman of Deep Eddy's. No lemon and just enough water so it's barely sweet
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25. My dancing has been described as "The Jaguar Prowl." Thank you, Eleanor.