Tim Gibbons, 27, co-owner of The Tin Roof on South Limestone, has been tending b ar for close to 10 years, and he has worked in bars almost half his life. He is a native of Windsor, Ontario, and his ties with friends-turned-NHL players brought him by chance to Nashville. Soon after, he and his friends opened The Tin Roof.
How did you end up in Lexington? "A friend of mine who played for the Nashville Predators invited us down to Tennessee. We saw the Tin Roof in Nashville and loved it. We decided we would try to open one somewhere in the SEC. UK football fans were always in Nashville for bowl games and would go to Tin Roof, so we knew if we came here, people would recognize the name."
How did you get your start bartending? "I started working at my brother's bar as a barback when I was about 15, and then was trained as a bartender a few years later."
Do you know your regulars by name? "I try to know everyone by name. When we started (Tin Roof), we intended to build around the motto 'thanks for being a regular' — it's right above our door when you walk out. It's basically the backbone of a place like this."
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What's your favorite drink? "I'm more of a beer drinker. I like Stroh's and other classic beers."
Is there a drink you hate to make? "Not that I have anything wrong with them, but Bloody Marys at 1 a.m. I mean, it doesn't even make sense."
What's the most important skill you can possess as a bartender? "Personality. Being able to talk to people and entertain them is so important. We have a stage where the bands play, but I always feel like the bar is the bigger stage."
Favorite time to work? "I like the springtime, when everyone is out of the winter funk. I also like working early, when it's busy but not too busy, and I can talk to my customers."