ASK YOUR BARTENDER: Hoboken Bar & Grill’s Veronica Mirasol
The Hoboken Bar & Grill is a self-described “brick-lined local hangout with a tavern vibe.” With over 20 flat-screen TVs on-hand and an extensive menu for both food and beverages, it is one of the best places in town for an NFL Sunday. If that doesn’t directly speak to you—considering the Pulled Pork Sliders on their menu—their Beer Club may.
Meanwhile, there’s the terrific service…
I had the pleasure of speaking with bartender Veronica Mirasol about the establishment. Veronica, who has been behind the bar there for 4½ years, had a lot of insight not only what makes bartending unique, but also what bar patrons ought to forget about doing.
hMAG: What led you to becoming a bartender?
Veronica Mirasol: I started off as a server at a casual fine-dining restaurant/lounge, and it was my first night as a trainee and first time working in the industry—period. We ended up getting slammed and I made $180 that night. I couldn’t believe I made that in one night, and thought, “well if I can make this as a server, I wonder what bartenders make.” Three months later I started bartending, and have never left.
hMAG: How do you feel about the myth that a lot of bartenders are out-of-work actors or struggling musicians?
V: I think the myth is kinda funny, but everyone has their own opinion. I get a lot of questions like “What’s your real job?” “What are you going to do when you’re older?” Well, my real job is being a mother to my kids, and I’m able to do that by having a schedule like this. Plus I can’t complain about the money. As for the future, only time will tell—but I’m positive I’ll be more than fine.
hMAG: What do you wish more people knew about bartending in general?
V: Bartending is a skilled trade. We’re mathematicians, psychiatrists, mixologists, guidance counselors, bouncers, mind-readers, and most importantly, FRIENDS! This isn’t just about pouring a beer, most of the time I have two other drink orders in my head, along with a food order and as I’m taking the order, I’m pricing everything out and counting change. So if we ask you to give us a second, don’t huff and puff. That will cost you another five minutes of waiting. NEXT!
hMAG: And what do you wish more people knew about you?
V: I’ve been called the “dragon lady,” and I’m not mean. I’m very pleasant, and you can always count on me to get things done. I’m just brutally honest and don’t have much patience. In this line of work, a small mistake can cost 10 minutes, which can set everyone back—and thirsty and hungry customers are not all that forgiving!
hMAG: Is there a “best part” about your job?
V: The customers are the best. I appreciate every single one of them. Most of them have become great friends and I could not be happier to call them so.
hMAG: How would you describe the Hoboken Bar & Grill to someone who hasn’t yet been there?
V: HBG, or “HOBAG” as we have had many people refer this establishment as, is your go-to sports spot. We have really good food, an awesome beer club, lots and lots of TVs… and don’t forget that awesome bartender Veronica.
hMAG: When you’re not at the Hoboken Bar & Grill, where’s your favorite place to be in Hoboken?
V: I love going to The Turning Point. The food there is phenomenal. Frozen hot chocolate with the lobster eggs benedict, please!
hMAG: Finally, Veronica, any last words for the kids?
V: Don’t whistle, scream, yell, wave your hands back and forth, throw napkins or coasters, or throw money at us to get our attention. And when we do get to you, be ready! Don’t turn around and ask everyone what they want. You have a five-second grace period before I move on to the next customer. Trust me. We see you. There’s a method to everything we do. And yes, we remember who tips well and who doesn’t.