By Melvin Horsford and Carrie Watt
BROCKPORT N.Y.— Gwen Leonardi, manager at Barber’s Grill and Taproom has been working at Barber’s off and on since 1992. From living in the apartments above the bar, to working behind the counter, Leonardi has spent much of her time at this local pub. For Leonardi, it’s the “regulars” at the bar who keep her coming to work each day.
“When we talk about regulars, the minute we see someone at the door who we know, their drink is on the bar,” said Leonardi.
Catering to the needs of her regular customers and engaging with them in conversation is something that she values. This is why Leonardi says she would choose her current position at Barber’s over something like an “office job.”
“I’m going to be here, and something will get colorful and we will have a good laugh, or I can help someone through a problem, and I don’t have to justify any of that to anyone,” said Leonardi.
Margaret “Peggy” Scaccetti, who has been working with Gwen at Barber’s since April says that even though it may look like certain bartenders have their own group of regulars, they are all connected.
“Everybody has their own following. Those are her guys and those are my guys but at the end of the day it’s all one,” said Scaccetti.
James Knight, a regular at Barber’s, feels as though he’s treated very well by Gwen and the rest of her staff.
“I like the rolling rock beer and they don’t normally have it, but I requested it and they got it. I walk in here and I don’t even have to order and they’re always nice to me,” said Knight.
It’s taking the time to build relationships just like this one that creates the family-feel between the regulars and the bartenders.
“That’s the family. It’s not just us, the bartenders and the customers; It’s the customers and the customers, it’s the regulars and the regulars. They become family with each other,” said Leonardi.