Troy Bartlett, 35
Cedar Rapids, Bartender @ Third Base Sports Bar & Brewery
General Manager
Tell us a little about Third Base Brewery. Three words or less.
Family, relaxed, traditional
How long have you been at Third Base Brewery? And in the biz?
About a year and a half at the current location. Eleven and a half with the (Third Base) “dynasty.” LOL.
What got you caught up in the Third Base craze?
We, (Dave Carey, Joe Denny, and I) were college buddies. They decided to open the first Third Base location, and on a whim, I said “Hey I could run the place for you.” Just out of graduate school, I decided to quit my job and just jump in with no experience whatsoever, absolutely no clue what I was doing behind the bar. But I went for it. After about one week I was hooked. I simply could not believe I was getting paid and tipped for doing that job.
Describe your most memorable customer.
No question. My wife.
Aww…. Who says you can’t find love at the bar? Way to beat the odds.
Definitely. She is the only person to achieve the impossible: leave me stunned and speechless behind the bar.
One of the unique pieces of the Third Base group is the management and staff. There is very little turnover. What do you attribute that to?
Respect. The owners do not take their managers for granted, and the managers do not take their staff for granted. The service industry is not easy. It’s highly competitive. You have to be doing it better, faster and friendlier than the other guy or you are out of business. So when you are lucky enough to find a great employee you tend to hang on to them.
You always seem genuinely happy to be at work and doing what you do. What keeps you going?
The social aspect. I am honored and privileged to share life memories with thousands of people throughout the years. The good times, the bad times and unfortunately some of the ugly times. Imagine throwing a really cool party. I get to do that every night of the year. The social connections are what keep me coming back year after year.
Alright, out with it. Troy’s Signature Cocktail. What is it and what’s in it? Oh, I can’t tell you that. You tell someone. They tell someone. Before you know it I’m out of a job! Let me say, it’s just what you need. Opened, shaken, stirred or poured. Served  with a smile, and if you have time to sit and talk, a friendly ear to bend. Details: 500 Blairs Ferry Rd N.E., Cedar Rapids; eat-in, takeout; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday; call (319) 378-9090; online at

-- Quinn