Drinks with Clark

Drinks with Clark Gaehring

First ‘thrown to the wolves,’ he made a happy landing in Lovin’ Cup

Jinelle Shengulette

Special to Metromix
July 18, 2012


Drinks with Clark Gaehring

(Credit: Rich Paprocki)

Name: Clark Gaehring.

Age: 29.

Bar: Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews in Henrietta.

Where do you live? South Wedge.

Did you go to college? Yes, I have a bachelor’s in business management from Utica College of Syracuse University.

How did you get into bartending? My best friend Casey was bartending at Tanq’s — now MicGinny’s — on East River Road and he convinced the owner to let me barback. When the other bartender didn’t show up for her shift, I was thrown to the wolves.

How long have you been at your bar? Two years in August.

Assuming you frequent your bar, where would you go for drinks if the place shut down? Tap & Mallet, Good Luck or Cheshire because they are awesome.

What’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen at your bar? I was waiting tables one night around Christmastime and a 40-something-year-old teacher took off her shirt, down to her bra, so she wouldn’t be seen in her Christmas sweater. She convinced me to lend her my undershirt and brought it back to me the next day.

What’s your least favorite drink to pour and why? Blue Light: We have so many better beers.

What drink do you pour the most? Whatever IPA is on draught or anything by Three Heads Brewing. The two cocktails that I serve the most are the Material Girl (our take on a Cosmo) and the Raspberry Beret (a delicious raspberry martini).

How much should I be tipping and why? Tipping is an unknown math equation. There are many variables that play into the final answer, and everyone puts a different amount of weight on each variable. I will give you the variables that I consider important: how fast the bartender is when it is busy; how much individual attention I get (without annoying me) when it is slow or I have questions about beer/wine/liquor/menu/etc.; if the bartender suggests something to drink and it’s amazing; if I know I’m going back there.

Is there a song on the jukebox or radio that you hate? Fortunately, we use Pandora Radio and I get to listen to what I want. But if I hear that Foster the People song one more time, I swear … !

What’s the quickest way to get a bartender to hate me? Snapping, waving your money in the air, whistling and “Hey you”-ing. I will always try to do the best I can to be as fast as possible. I always like to say that it’s just a few moments in (hopefully) a long life, so be patient. You should be at the bar to enjoy yourself and for the experience. If you have to wait a little longer than you are used to, strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you. You may have just met your new best friend!

What’s the quickest way to get great service? Be the only one at the bar … just kidding. Smiling, being patient and clearly looking like you are having a good time will get you a long way.

What’s the worst pickup line you’ve overheard? Pickup lines are awesome, but only if they are yours and clever. Using recycled pickup lines says too much about your personality.

Can you share any hangover cures? Yes, don’t drink. Well, yes, please drink because I still need a job! The best way for me to feel better if I had a bit too much to drink the night before is water, ibuprofen and, most importantly, vitamin B (helps in the retention of water).

Do you have a full-time job? Lovin’ Cup is my full-time job. I manage, bartend and serve. Soon you will see my street team out on the beat. I also work part-time doing my own handyman thing. I recently built Lovin’ Cup’s host stand. Come see me and it sometime!

Ever gone home with a customer? I assume you mean for reasons other than drinking a nightcap or watching Law & Order. The answer to that is a mystery — I have a terrible memory! My girlfriend, Erin, actually left me her number one night when I was working, and the rest, as they say, is history!

What do you love best about your job? I love the people I work with. I love the fun-loving regulars that love us back. I love meeting fun people. I love instant feedback.