I recently had the pleasure of visiting Vince (Vinny, as Mr. B's regulars
call him) and saw him in action during the lunch hour. Vinny took the time to talk with every customer sitting at his bar while remaining attentive
to the details, constantly refilling drinks, replacing coasters and the
The first thing that struck me about the bar was the sheer number of
television sets. I knew this was a sports bar, but I was unprepared for
24 television sets including two 10 foot screens, one on each side of the
bar. There are two satellite systems as well as cable. The bar also boasts
Hot Spot and NTN, the National Trivia Network. The owners, Mr. & Mrs.
Perry Apostle, are obviously well experienced in running establishments
such as this! Moreover, the kitchen area is not only spotless, but turns
out quality food in short order.
I was fortunate to visit on a Friday, when the lunch special is fish and
chips, served with either a salad or clam chowder. It was more food than
I could eat, and the total price was only $4.25. The lunch specials run
from 11am to 3pm, and are certainly one of the best bargains I have ever
encountered in a sports bar.
Vinny shared his observations on the changing tastes of today's drinkers.
"Younger people like sweeter drinks than in the old days." He continued,
"Shooters are especially popular now, in contrast to the martinis and manhattans
ordered by the old-timers. Don't misunderstand me, there are still plenty
of people that order those drinks, but the younger people seem to prefer
a sweeter drink than the dry cocktails popular years ago."
the voice of experience speaking. All told, Vinny has 31 years experience
tending bar, and joined the United States Bartenders Guild 15 years ago.
Now he is Vice President of the Guild, and looks forward every year to
the cocktail competitions. Vinny was winner of the National Cocktail
Competition in 1995 for his original drink "Malibu Slider," and was sent
to Japan that year to compete in the international competition.
Mr. B's sells quite a few Malibu Sliders in the course of a day, as well
as Mudslides, Stingers, Screwdrivers, and Bloody Mary’s. "Imported beers
are popular as well, the younger crowd likes beer, and wine is a big seller
also, especially among the ladies," he stated. “Towards evening, the crowd
changes its tastes to cocktails and wine.” Chardonnay, White Zinfadel,
and Merlots are the most popular, according to Vinny, but during football
season, beer is the staple." It is seldom that football fans order anything
but beer." Mr. B's is equipped to handle that order, as a full complement
of Budweiser products are available on tap, and the imports available include
Corona, Heineken and Samuel Adams.
Here is one of Vinny’s award winning recipes:
Long Beach Shake
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Marie Brizard Chocolat Cream
1/2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
3 oz Milk
Drink is blended. Garnish: Slice of Orange and Fresh Strawberry.
The secret to a good original drink? A combination of ingenuity, experience,
and skill. "I give a great deal of thought about what makes a good drink.
When I do come up with a recipe, I try it out on several people to see
if it fits in with popular tastes." He has the ability to do just that,
working at Mr. B's from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and
at the Starting Gate in Los Alamitos - across from the racetrack - Friday
and Saturday evenings. What does he do with the time he does have off?
"I play golf every Sunday, I love the game. Every year the Guild has a
charity golf tournament, and it’s a big event. All the money is donated,
so everyone has a good time, and it’s for a worthy cause as well.”