He may have thought he was the underdog, but for local bartender Anthony LoPorto, being named Time Out NY’s bartender of the year was a piece of cake with the neighborhood on his side.
“It just shows how great of a community Bay Ridge is,” said LoPorto, a longtime tender at Bean Post Pub, which he also owns. “Everyone was sharing the link to the contest and we received support from multiple groups and organizations. At first, I thought we were definitely the underdog, but once I saw how many people were getting out there and voting, I realized I might just be a shoe-in.”
And that he was, with a whopping 193,000-vote lead over second place.
“I think this win is a great thing for both Bay Ridge and the bar,” he told this paper at his victory party, hosted at the pub on Sunday, May 2. “We’re hoping that all the attention will open it up for more; get people thinking, ‘Hey, maybe it’s not all about Manhattan anymore.’”
At the end of the day, LoPorto said, he truly believes Bay Ridge is the place to be. To boot, he said, Bean Post Pub could give former Manhattan frontrunners a run for their money with 21 different beers on tap, 50 bottled varieties at any one time and 40 flavors of wings.
“We’ve got everything here in Bay Ridge, and I’m not just talking Bean Post,” he said, “It’s about time people start realizing.”
LoPorto was lauded by friends, family and fellow staff at the party for being not only the nabe’s best bartender but for being one of the nabe’s best friends.
“A bartender is not someone who can make 1,000 drinks. A bartender is someone who can connect with everyone,” he told Time Out NY following his victory. “I feel like a bar is like a small town, and the bartender becomes the mayor of the town. A bartender has to be able to listen to a story, answer a phone, know the score of the game, lower the music, pour a drink and watch that guy in the corner who may not be the type of guy you want in your place. There are so many hats a bartender wears.”
Today, you can catch LoPorto alternating hats at his home-stead bar, located at 7525 Fifth Avenue.