There are 24 bars located in downtown State College, each equipped with a team manning the madness behind the bar, but have you ever really taken the time to get to know the bartenders? That’s where we come in with our newest short series, Better Know a Bartender, where we sit down and get to know the brave men and women who serve the insatiable thirst of Penn State students.
Earlier this week, the second half of spring semester kicked off with Saint Patrick’s Day as well as the start of 55 Days of Cafe! Hundreds of seniors fled to the bar to order green beer, eat corned beef and get their name on the list for one of the last hoorahs before graduation. In all of the hustle and bustle, one bartender stood out amongst the rest, unfazed by patrons yelling their orders from every which way. Considering many of us will be spending the next 53 days in her place of work, I thought it was a good idea to get to know who will be serving us (and get on her good side). Meet Erica Linick, a bartender and server at Cafe 210.
A self-proclaimed cat fanatic and lover of all cat paraphernalia (clothing, purses, accessories), she surprisingly only has one of her own, though she takes enough pictures to make up for it. When she is not working, she loves to dance, so much so that she danced in THON during her senior year. Since graduation, she has managed to stay involved and even had a part in organizing a Make a Wish for deserving families.
As Linick puts it, “I came to Penn State to get a degree, but I fell in love with it here and it has become my home.”
Hometown: South Plainfield, N.J.
Major: Graduated from Penn State in May of 2012 with a degree in Psychology
Experience: It’s been about a year since Linick started working at Cafe and she has served behind the counter since October.
“I’m still pretty new at a lot of it,when you stop to think about it like that,” said Linick. “But it’s so awesome. I love bartending, and it’s a lot of fun to learn and try to master all the drinks.”
Signature Drink: Although she makes a lot of Cafe teas, the bar’s signature drink, she herself is a fan of chocolate covered pretzel shots.
Hidden Talents: I should just start off by saying, Linick may be one of the coolest people I know because she had a variety of good responses when I asked her about this. Sadly, I could only pick two.
“Hmm… I can recite pi to 100 decimal places,” said Linick. “I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue almost every time, too.”
Fun Fact: She’s dating Mike Lee, the guitar player of My Hero Zero.
Favorite Thing about Cafe: Linick cites the working environment as the best aspect of her working experience.
“The Cafe staff is like a family. We all get along really well, everyone is so friendly, and I love being a part of it,” said Linick. “I think that’s a really special thing about Cafe.”
And for brownie points, I’ll add in what else she had to say (hopefully she gets a raise)!
“I love my managers and the owners – like, I’m really happy to work for them and I want to do a good job for them,” said Linick. “They’ve created an incredible work environment and I’m really happy to be working here.”
Craziest/Funniest Story: Surprisingly enough, Linick did not have any crazy stories to share. Perhaps this has to do with the Fort Knox bouncer force Cafe has monitoring its corridors. Make one wrong move, and you’re out.
“I can say, though, that it always seems to get more fun as the night goes on… if you know what I mean,” said Linick.
Typical Night at Cafe: Although at times it may be hard for Linick to maneuver in between the crowds, she loves the energy and wouldn’t want it any other way.
“A typical night (or day) here is simply fun – there is always some form of entertainment,” she said. “We may not be the only bar with outdoor seating, but sitting outside at Cafe with a Cafe tea in hand is pretty much the best place to be.”
Think you know a deserving candidate that should be interviewed in the next article? Email me.