Bartender Joaquin Simo
Bartender Joaquín Simó received his first lesson in hospitality as a teenager while working as a parish secretary at his church. "The very first thing that Father Gerrardo taught me was not how to answer the phone or where the CCD registration forms were, but rather, how to prepare Cuban coffee for a parishioner if they accepted my offer to come inside," he explains. Since then, Simó has upheld a "customer comes first" mentality in every role he has taken on -- from opening shop at Death & Company to becoming a partner in both national beverage consulting group Alchemy Consulting and in East Village cocktail den Pouring Ribbons (225 Avenue B, 917-656-6788). "You can't say, 'I'm doing the mixology thing now, I'll get to the customer service later,' " he says. Here, we spoke with Simó about the beauty of a Cartesian plane, the satisfaction that comes with serving up a proper daiquiri, and why he wants his staff to read the sports page -- every darn day.