Keyan Still, St. Louis, 11 years
What is your favorite word?
"Endeavor" i.e. I would like to express my gratitude for your assistance in my endeavor. Or, simply put, thank you.
What is your least favorite word?
"Can't." The inability to do something is used far too often. "Shouldn't," "won't," or "don't want to "would be more accurate. "Can't" does not assign accountability to the lack of effort.
What turns you on?
I am assuming this is a PG question so I will say teaching someone something new. Spreading knowledge and learning in turn is always exciting to me.
What turns you off?
People that complain about things and make no effort to make them better.
What sound or noise do you love?
Walking through the park in the spring time. When you are deep in, and stop hearing the traffic, and all you can hear are birds chirping. On the flip side, I hate hearing birds chirping after pulling an all-nighter because I know they are just judging me!
What sound or noise do you hate?
Any high-pitched squeaks. They come out when people polish glasses. And, obviously, nails on a chalkboard.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
International Sports Marketing. It was what I originally went to school for. I like coming up with concepts on how to get people excited about events in general.
What profession would you not like to do?
Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. I would never want to sell anything I can't believe in and may do harm to others.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Thank you for making the world a better place.
Where did you grow up, and what was it like there?
Grew up awkward in South City, St. Louis, until I hit high school and started making friends and had people looking to me to do great things. I don't think that they had bartending in mind, but neither did I. I made it until 22 before I started drinking and didn't realize the history and applications of it all until 24. Now I love my job and continue to grow in knowledge and friends.
Favorite childhood memory?
Thanksgivings when I was little were amazing. My whole family would all go to my grandma's house and bring so much food. Thanksgivings were the best: all the family, food and football made me so happy.
Where do you work?
Planter's House and Robust Wine Bar.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Every time I have someone that truly has a great experience and I know that I have been a part of a special memory for them.
What is your favorite bartending moment?
Recently I had a couple come in and ask for a drink I made them over 3 years ago. Apparently they remembered the story I told them and were so excited to see me again. Touching the lives of people makes me feel like I matter, and it feels amazing.
What do you do to relax outside of work?
I volunteer at a local shelter for homeless women, children and families, Gateway 180.
I help arrange events to raise money for the project.
I walk my dog, George (pictured right, adorably). She is a sweetheart.
I attend wine tastings with friends with all of our wine books out.
Tell us about your dream vacation.
Brazil during Carnival!
"The tree with the most fruit hangs closest to the ground." ~Middle Eastern proverb, telling us to keep our egos in check if we want to reach our goals.
Advice you could offer to others?
Show up early to work. Sit down, relax, and plan out your day. Every day you should have a goal to help improve your job, or at least make your coworkers' jobs easier. That, combined with a positive attitude, will make you everyone's favorite person to work with. Oh, and always greet your coworkers with a smile and excitement. Do that, and they will have your back to the end.
Who do you look up to?
Charles Joly. The guy is an inspiration to us all. As talented as he is, he is still a very humble, incredibly nice guy that really seems to understand that it is all about making people have a great time.
Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself that we might not know.
I am somehow better at cooking when I am drinking. Whatever is lying around can end up in a soup, or in some crazy recipe for french toast. As long as whiskey is involved, get ready to eat!
What does the future hold for you?
Challenges, tough ones, that I am excited to attack. Anything worth accomplishing takes a lot of hard work and support from great people around you.