Some people love their jobs and let the world know they love it! This was quite evident to me on my last two visits to the Beaches property in Turks and Caicos. These visits “require” me to test the food and drinks of the property so that I can relay the best of the best things to order on the property to my clients.
The first time I encountered this bartender was when I led a group of women to the property just as the Covid restrictions had allowed us to travel. There was a bartender that was “making some noise” at the bar and singing to the guests as he was preparing his drinks. I could tell he was a property favorite among the guests. I decided to see just what the rave was about, so asked him to make me a special drink. After a few seconds of thought, he said, “I know what I will make you and I am the ONLY one on this property that knows how to make this drink!” That is all he had to say to me to get my attention and I told him to go for it! I saw him adding multiple pieces of different fruits and some basil and mint and crushing it all together before he added soda and inquired about my choice of alcohol to add to it. Those that know me well know that I chose gin. Well, he finished it and handed it to me and said “this is my special COVID KILLER drink.” I can honestly say it was the BEST drink I had ever tasted.
Junior Bishop is the name of this bartender at Beaches Turks and Caicos, but he prefers to just be called “Bishop.” He doesn’t like to be called Junior, he wants his title to sound larger! This guy is seriously larger than life and deserves a large title. I asked him if I could ask him a few questions about his life and how he became a bartender. Our conversation follows.
JN: Are you originally from Turks and Caicos?
JB: No, I came here from Jamaica because I could make a better living here.
JN: How did you become a bartender?
JB: I was working at a restaurant in Jamaica and the bartender didn’t show up one night so they asked me to take his place. I had been a cocktail waiter in the dining room as well as shaving ice (because they didn’t have an ice machine) and washing the glasses so I felt somewhat comfortable working the bar. After realizing how much fun it was to please people with different concoctions I decided to become a bartender.
JN: Did you have to take bartender courses?
JB: No, I had a mentor, Mr. Wallace, that helped me learn all about the restaurant business as well as bartending. He taught me many important lessons about everything from serving and bartending to many things in life. I have always been so thankful for him.
JN: How do you keep up with the crowd and know who has been waiting there the longest since everyone is just all around the bar?
JB: We are very observant people and notice movement around the bar. We can also tell when someone does not need to be served any more.
JN: What do you do about overserved people?
JB: We start reducing the amount of alcohol in their drinks and quit adding any at a certain point. If they get out of hand we are not allowed to deal with them- we must call security.
JN: This is a child friendly resort and I see that children are walking up to the bar to order. What do you serve them?
JB: Roy Rogers, Shirley Temples, Jungle Juice, Mickey Mouse drinks.
JN: What is your favorite part about being a bartender?
JB: I love to hear people say “WOW” when they taste my drinks. I like to put my heart into it and make them feel special because it was just made for them. It makes me happy to make them happy.
JN: I notice that you know all the words to the songs being played at the pool. How did you learn all those?
JB: I love music and it makes my job even more happy and fun. I listen and sing with the songs and it makes me happy.
I can honestly say that Bishop is one of the happiest bartenders I have ever met and he is a joy to be around whether you are drinking a martini, or COVID KILLER, or a Shirley Temple! If you visit the Beaches property at Turks and Caicos make sure to visit Bishop at the Italian pool!
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