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From the Editor: Cheers To Another Issue

The new crop of bartenders probably don’t remember the days when the only two nonalcoholic cocktails at the Amarillo Air Force Base officers club were a Shirley Temple and a Roy Rogers. And even though I was a Shirley Temple girl, I secretly coveted the Coke version, which apparently was too manly for me in junior high. And after researching our cover story for this month, I’m here to write that mocktails have come a long way since junior high.

We talk about the stigma of alcoholism, but I find that servers sometimes act dismissively when I order iced tea or sparkling water with a twist of lime in lieu of wine or a cocktail at dinner. Is it because the tip will be smaller? Or is there the assumption nondrinkers are driving “your father’s Buick” and therefore won’t be fun?   Are we what we drink?

My son Zack was in town during this research and while we were out to lunch he asked the server if they had any gluten-free beers on the menu. The server shook her head sadly and said she keeps telling management they need to stock a couple of gluten-free options, but they don’t want to clutter up the inventory. “And yet we’ve had the same six-pack of St. Pauli Girl for two years now,” she said about their one nonalcoholic beer choice. I’m with her, and since I’m not a fan of the beer taste, I can’t imagine why someone would want to drink one without the alcohol.

When I walked into the bar at Eastside, GM Ambrose Burke never dreamed he was about to become a hand model.

It’s purely a coincidence that our two top stories in this issue include a feature on what’s new in craft cocktails and a coffee shop catering to industry folks in recovery. Coffee Rehab is in the Kickstarter mode, but the woman behind it wants it to become a late-night option for people who have given up the bar scene for any number of reasons. 

Because of the high rate of alcoholism in the foodservice industry, we paired that story with some resources for anyone dealing with addiction, plus a link to a training program for restaurant managers developed by the Delaware Restaurant Association.  

The conversation of how physically demanding the restaurant industry is started with Seth Bixby Daugherty at Seven while planning the Charlies Afterparty. As you get older, he pointed out, the long hours of standing, heavy lifting and repetitive motion start to take a toll on your body. We continued that conversation in this issue with Nathan Sartain of Saint Paul College, and hope to continue it through out the remaining issues this year. 

Coincidences abound in this industry—and in this issue. 

While Katy Armendariz was telling me about Coffee Rehab, she mentioned that her tattoo artist was the one who came up with the name. Since we had just featured a tattoo artist on the cover of the last FSN, I had to ask if by any chance it was Heather Kim. And, yes it was. Small world, since Kim also shared a connection with another “Kate” of BA Craftmade Aprons fame. 

The same subjects also seem to weave their way into coverage from entirely different sources. For instance, columnist Liz Rammer from Hospitality Minnesota wrote about ProStart, as did our freelance writer Mecca Bos in her feature on institutional dining venues. Ironically when we met to do the wrap-up on the Charlie Awards, we talked about how we could get more chefs to sign on to mentor ProStart teams. Sometimes when you ask, it’s already in the works and about to be delivered. 

There’s food in these pages as well as drink, along with a sad farewell to our favorite editor, Laura Michaels, who is moving her office down the hall to become the full-time editor of our sister publication, Franchise Times.

Perhaps change is why dry drinks aren’t used for toasts. Whether it’s tears of happiness or sadness, you need something wet to salute with. 

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