by Steven Doyle
Each week Outpost Dallas has been hosting local celebrity bartenders to run the bar for a few hours on Wednesday’s. The deal is that these celeb types bring in their crowd and donate proceeds to their charity of choice. There have been some entertaining bartenders since they began the program. I was the first to be behind the stick, and it can be un-nerving if you haven’t bartended in some years. This will be the case this Wednesday (tonight) as owners Chris Zielke and Chris Jeffers (the same lads who own Bolsa, Smoke, Chicken Scratch and the rest) get behind the bar after so many years of simply managing their empire. Zielke started at Bennigans and Jeffers started with Uncle Julios.
Yes, Chris and Chris started their careers as bartenders.
They promise to wear their original uniforms for their bartending gig Wednsday night, which will be a hilarious reason to stop by for some frothy frozen drink. I doubt there is even a blender at Outpost, but they should definitely bring one for their shift.
To carry the theme a step more, corporate chef Tim Byers will be recreating the magical Bennigans Monte Cristo I harp on about so often. I also understand there will be some potato skins in the offering ala 1989. Be sure to stop in fr the few hours of entertainment. The evening starts at 6pm at Outpost Dallas located at 1115 N Beckley in Oak Cliff.
A young Zielke, aspiring bartender
Here are Five Questions with Chris Zielke:
Have you ever tended bar for a living?
3 years at Bennigan’s. I got fired for not checking an ID.
2 years at Patrizio’s until I got fired for bring rude to a guest.
3 weeks at Ben’s Halfyard House. Walked out.
1 week at Cocina Caliente.
6 months at Citizen.
1 year at Buddha/Bali Bar. Went out of business.
1 year at Nikita. Good times.
5 years at ZaZa. Got fired there too for having a beer after work.
1 year at Suite before I could afford a salary at Bolsa.
What will you do with you tip money?
My tips will go to pay for heartworm treatment for the puppy, Sarah. She was hit by a car on December 9th and had a fractured spine and pelvis. She has been living with Lucy and me for the past few months. She has recovered nicely, been spayed and had her shots but we just learned she has heartworms as well.
Who is your bartending role model?
Brian Flannigan and Doug Coughlin are the role models for every Bennigan’s and Friday’s bartender in the world. Learned every bit of flair from that movie.
Are you making anything special?
I will most likely make a fool of myself.
What are you afraid of behind the bar?
That my staff will see how worthless I am behind the bar. I bartended when a cosmo was a specialty drink. I can’t keep up with all these tinctures, aerosols and mustaches.