How long have you been bartending?
About 10 years, although I've been working in the restaurant industry in the West Seattle area since I was 17 years old.
What do you love most about your job?
The people—you have to be a people person—and the family you create in the industry. Also, being a performer, being a country singer, I love being onstage, so every night behind the bar, I get to be onstage.
What qualities make a good bar-tender?
Anyone can learn how to pour drinks, anybody can be a mixologist, it's not rocket science. It really comes down to personality and the vibe and the environment that you want to create for the people who have come in to have a drink.
Most memorable thing you've witnessed while working?
There's never a dull moment. You're pretty much a glorified babysitter for drunk adults. It gets pretty crazy. There was this one time: I could tell the couple was drunk when they came in. I offered to serve them food and get them some water, just 'cause I was feeling a little extra nice that day.
The gentleman chewed up his food—and he was so drunk that he spit it out and he literally threw it in my face, and he goes, "What the fuck is this? This is disgusting!" even though it was one of the best things we have on the menu, it was pretty delicious. He threw a chopped-up, chewed-up pork loin at my face.
At that point, everyone at the bar was already looking at them in disgust, at how rude and hilarious they were being—there's a point when someone's being so rude that it's just funny. You can't take that kind of thing to heart.
We kicked him out at the end of it—I told him to get the eff out and where to stick it. Who throws a pork loin in someone's face? I can now say as a bartender, I've had a pork loin thrown in my face.
Least favorite drink to make?
I try to take every drink order with a grain of salt and a lot of patience... I really don't like turning people down for drinks and I don't have a shitty attitude about any of them.
Favorite place to drink?
Pho Liu in Burien is a wonderful place. It's been around for years, and it's a really unassuming place, because it's a pho restaurant, right, but they have a massive bar in the back. The owner's name is Jimmy, and you can go see Jimmy and get your dose of sass and ridiculousness and one of his Banana Gorillas. It's a chocolate banana drink that he makes for everybody, and it's a drink that's two-for-one.
What do you do when you're not slinging drinks?
My favorite thing to do when I'm not behind the bar, and most of my focus, honestly, is my second job, my band. We travel nine months out of the year. In a week, we're leaving for Arizona and we're touring Mexico. We do that often. We spend a lot of time in Texas... That's my favorite thing to do, and all of my weekends are usually booked up, which is why I only bartend three days a week.
You can find Darci in White Center at Drunky Two Shoes BBQ (9655 16th Ave SW) on Taco Tuesday and at Dottie's Double Wide (9609½ 16th Ave SW) on Wednesday and Thursday. You'll also find her playing with her eponymous outlaw country band—their next hometown gig is Freakout Fest in Ballard on November 16.