Bartender Hall of
Fame™ Inductee: Ray Srp
Working as a bartender for 27 years.
Age: 48 Married 21 years, wife Judy.
Two Children: Mike age 14, Brittany age 8.
I began my career as a bar back in 1977 in a hotel nightclub near Cleveland, Ohio. The day after my 21st birthday I received a call from the bar manager asking if I could tend bar that night. It was a Saturday night and I showed up an hour early. Two of the bartenders behind the stick were distinguished gentleman well into their 50's who took me under their wing and taught me the classic cocktails and how to work the bar. They also taught me how to take a bet, but that's another story. My first tip was a twenty, (a big tip back then), and I was immediately accepted into the brotherhood.
In 1990, my wife and I moved to Las Vegas where, because of union regulations, I was hired as an apprentice bartender at the newly opened Excalibur. After completing the union classes and serving the mandatory one-year apprenticeship, I was promoted to bartender. In 1993 I opened the Treasure Island and transferred to the Bellagio in 1998 where I am still working. It was at Bellagio where I had the opportunity to work and train with Tony Abou-Ganim and some of the most knowledgeable bartenders and staff in Las Vegas. My bar is a public bar and lounge called Club Prive' located in a high limit blackjack area with table minimums of 100-1000 dollars. I created cocktails for the room drink menu and I work with high end products such as Hardee Perfection and Vintage Macallan Scotch.
I volunteer my free time as a member of the United States Bartenders Guild, a non-profit charter of the International Bartenders Association. I write and print a bi-monthly newsletter from my home computer that I send out to members in 13 states and 4 different countries. I compete in cocktail competitions, work special events, and sometimes travel nationally and internationally for promotional events and competitions. I recently was appointed Vice President of the U.S.B.G. I also like to spend my time as a volunteer adult leader for my son's Boy Scout Troop 99 Our Lady of Las Vegas. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading old cocktail books and Bartender Magazine.
- Graduate of The Academy of Spirits and Fine Service.
- Member of the United States Bartenders Guild since May 2001.
- Founding board member of the USBG-Nevada Chapter.
- Editor of The Balance, the USBG newsletter.
- Barman of Ischia cocktail competition in Ischia, Italy October 2002.
- Marie Brizard International Forum Cocktail Competition in Bordeaux, France December 2003.
- Bellagio Single Malt Whisky Society.
- Bellagio American Whiskey Group.
- Bellagio Wine Academy.
- Southern Wine & Spirits "Wines of the
- Sterling School of Service & Hospitality.
- Numerous seminars with master distillers and reps.
- "Millionaire Rob Roy" cocktail chosen for Playboy's " Most Expensive
- "Sophistication" cocktail featured in Wine Enthusiast Triple Crown Cocktails.
- "Sideways Sour" cocktail featured in Barsol Pisco ads.
- Organized and judged Bellagio Knob Creek Cocktail Competition.
- Judged Monte Cristo Rum cocktail competition for brand introduction.
- Current Vice President of the U.S.B.G.
- Attended 2005 World Cocktail Competition in Helsinki, Finland as U.S. delegate.
- Boy Scout Adult Leader Troop 99 Las Vegas.
- "Scouting for Food" to benefit the Salvation Army food bank.
- Worked on Eagle Scout community service projects such as:
o Collecting clothes and blankets for the homeless.
o Adopting needy families for Christmas.
o Planting trees in the Las Vegas Wash.
o Cleaning and painting church property.
o Cleaning and repairing used bikes for needy kids.
o Attending week long camp to assist scouts in earning merit badges.