Behind the Bar

Five Questions for the Bartender: Philip Trickey

The Rob Roy up-and-comer will turn you into a gin lover, but asks that you keep your shoes on at the bar.

February 8, 2010

Philip Trickey moved to Seattle from Salt Lake City, Utah in the fall of 2005 “because of a girl, isn’t that always the case?” He tended bar before the move, but says he didn’t develop a passion for the job until he started hanging out at Vessel with bar manger Jim Romdall and then-bartender Zane Harris. “Zane eventually challenged me to come behind the bar and that began a two-month, unpaid ‘internship’ with Jim.”

Today, Trickey works at Rob Roy, the Belltown bar Harris owns with partner (in both senses of the word) Anu Apte.

Here five questions with the Rob Roy’s tattoed up-and-comer.

What is the most underrated spirit?

From a drinker’s perspective the most underrated spirit would have to be gin. I am constantly surprised at the vast number of people that claim to hate gin but have never had a properly made gin cocktail. From my perspective as a bartender, the most underrated spirit is tequila. I am just now discovering its myriad uses for crafting new drinks as well as updating some of the classics.

What’s your favorite Seattle bar (other than Rob Roy)?

My favorite bar in Seattle is definitely the Zig Zag. Everyone there (Casey, Ben, Ben, Jacob, Erik, Murray, Autumn, Annie, sorry if I forgot anyone) goes out of their way to make me feel welcome. Plus, it’s right across the street from my apartment.

What drink do you order at that bar?

I drink what every bartender drinks: a shot and a beer. Occasionally I will have a cocktail but I always leave it up to Erik or Murray or Ben or Ben as to what that drink will be.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?

I’ve seen many people over the years do stupid shit in bars, but they’re mostly just your run of the mill transgressions: puking, passing out, punching someone, getting punched by someone, etc. The worst thing I have seen though, is a woman who took off her shoes, pushed out the chair next to her, and proceed to use said chair as an ottoman. I was just appalled that someone could think that this was acceptable behavior in a public place.

Name three reasons you live in Seattle.

I live in Seattle because I really love the local food scene. Coming from Salt Lake City, it’s really not that hard to be impressed by anyone that at least makes an effort, but Seattle chefs really do an amazing job. I also live here because I don’t need a car to navigate this city. I live and work right downtown and the metro system is good enough to get me out to the sticks if need be. (By sticks, I mean Ballard.) Finally, Seattle is home because it has all of the amenities of a large city but still feels like a town.

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