We had the good fortune of connecting with Bobby Kramer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bobby, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are a lot of factors that can play into success for example, dedication, perseverance, and passion, however, the biggest driving force I can attribute to my success is the team I’ve built. I’ve always found it important to ally yourself with people that have a similar drive and passion. In turn, this has allowed me to research different avenues that I might not have thought of, and even build on ideas together toward a common goal. When you have a good group of like minded, passionate people working together it will automatically create a sense of camaraderie and dedication that can inspire growth and development, while still fueling your drive. Without my team constantly communicating, working and growing together, I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to build The Brickyard Downtown and The Hidden House’s programs to their highest level of acclaim and success.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s odd for me to talk about how hard working, dedicated, creative, talented, good looking etc. But I’ll give it a shot. Honestly the one thing I have working for me is my dedication and drive. I’m a very motivated individual who always wants to push or move forward, when i set a goal I always map it out and find a way to follow through and achieve what I set out to do! I’ve been fortunate that I’ve gotten to compete in a wide variety of cocktail competitions from, local competitions to regionals in Diageo’s World Class Competition to even being inducted to the New Malt Order for Auchentoshan. In fact I most recently won the regional finals in San Fransisco, CA for the Flor de Cana Fair Trade Competition and get to compete in Costa Rica sometime this year. With All of these accomplishments I hold dear, Nothing can compare to how Proud I am of both my teams at the Brickyard and the Hidden House! They show true passion to the industry and always strive to keep learning and be better, they are in my opinion the epitome of what a Bar Team should be! I’ve continually been humbled by their creativity, hard work and dedication. I’ve gotten to where I am with a drive and passion for our industry! I’ve had to dedicate a lot of time to attending seminars, practicing techniques, reading, learning, studying. The hardest thing is learning that you need to put yourself out there, I’ve lost more than my share of cocktail competitions, and that’s been one of the biggest teaching tools and drives that I’ve learned from. It took a lot of dedication, but it sometimes doesn’t feel like that when you love what you do! It’s been a grind, and I’m absolutely still learning and growing. Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given is “in our industry, people feed off of your energy, both customers and staff.” If you are burnt, tired and feel demotivated, take a moment to get yourself in the right headspace. People are coming to see you, your personality and enjoy your company and product. Remind yourself why you’re in the industry, what you love, and then think about how many people you are truly influencing that day. I will always recommend that you find yourself a ritual to get you in the proper headspace and ready to rock. About my story, I’m just a kid who joined the military at 17 and wanted to be a doctor, but fell in love with Bartending and made a career out of it. I have an amazing wife, little boy, two dogs, a cat and two of the best restaurants and bars in the Vally that all have my full support and dedication.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I absolutely love the Valley! If a had time I’d probably take my friend around to the different parts of the cities to showcase how unique We would absolutely find our way to downtown Phoenix! We’d probably grab lunch and listen to some live music at Crescent Ballroom and follow it up with an afternoon beer and rousing game of corn hole at Wilderness Downtown. Then I’d be inclined to take us to Larder & Delta for Dinner, of course following dinner with cocktails at Bitter & Twisted and Little Rituals. Wanting to stay out for the rest of the night, we’d find our way over to Killer Whale Sex Club for a drink and finish our night at Chambers on First. After the intense feast and indulgence we’d do a morning hike of Piestewa Peak and do lunch at Dick’s Hideaway. After feeling accomplished, full and mimosa’d up, we’d probably take a wee break and relax. That evening we’ll absolutely find our way over to the Gray Hen inside of Century Grand to get our whiskey fix from the Guru John Christie himself, but we’d leave in time to make our late reso over at Steak 44. Then we’d buy some cigars from Churchill, head over to Little Woody to end our night. The next day we’d find our way to Tempe, probably galavanting around Tempe Market Place for a bit. Then we’d go over to Four Peaks to have a bite, a pint and hopefully a tour! I’d take us across the way to Adventurous Stills to taste some amazing grain to bottle Arizona Distilled Spirits, and then we’d find our way over to Pedal Haus to have yet another snack, stein and tour! When we finish up, we’d make our way down to Cotton & Copper for some amazing food and drinks! We’d leave in time for a late night movie at Alamo Draft House, and get a night cap at Casey’s Woodshed. Scottsdale seems like the next logical choice, so we’d have brunch at Virtu Honest Craft, then grab a beer at Gold Water Brewing, as well as some coffee at Sip. Then we’d walk around old town, looking in the shops, probably find our way over to the library and civic center to just relax and lolly gag. Then we’d go grab some cocktails at Second Story, have dinner at Citizen Public House then find our way to Fox Cigar Bar to relax on a nice pour of whisky and enjoy a cigar. We’d make our way out toward Chandler, stopping in Mesa first to go to Cider Corps to have an adult apple juice, stop over at 12 West Mesa for a 12 o’clock pint and cocktail! Then we’d travel to Downtown Chandler, getting to Hidden House to enjoy some amazing happy hour cocktails and food! Then we’d wonder downstairs to the basement bar The Ostrich to have a quick cocktail or two, before we head to the Brickyard Downtown for more unique cocktail indulgence and a feast of tapa style sharing plates! Then we’d steadily walk over to Puro to enjoy some music, a cigar and some great whiskey before we find our way to Sleepy Whale for a wonderful night cap.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out to the United States Bartender’s Guild Phoenix Chapter! When I first started bartending I took the job with the intention of finishing school and getting a “real job”. A good friend of mine, Tyler French, was the first person to really introduce me to the Bartender’s Guild and in turn show me that bartending is, and can be a career. From there I eagerly joined the USBG and completely enveloped myself in learning as much as I could from this community of professionals in the industry, through book recommendations, seminars, mixers, meetings and of course cocktail competitions. The USBG opened up so many opportunities and pushed me in the right direction for furthering my career and they absolutely deserve a shout out!

Website: https://brickyarddowntown.com/ or https://www.hiddenhouseaz.com/
Instagram: bobbykray602
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobby-kramer-302980187
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bobby.kramer.58

Image Credits
Live Copy Photo Chelsea Sutton Spirituous Minds Brickyard Downtown Hidden House