-interview by Tara Johnson
Sean took a few minutes from his multi-tasking at Roy’s Kahana Bar to chat with us about his work and life. While sampling a variety of wonderful pupus and desserts we enjoyed the usual quick wit and “Aloha” that Sean always serves at his bar.
Sean moved from Aspen to Lake Tahoe eventually settling here in Maui at Roy’s for the last 18 years. After 31 years and 4 different decades of bartending, Sean ranks as one of the best in the biz.The amazing food at Roy’s is not the only thing that keeps us coming back for more; Sean is a master at mixing drinks and providing constant entertainment at the bar, too.
WCM: Right to the point, Sean, how do you keep things “cool” yet make your bar so “hot?”
Sean: It’s called B.B.D; I try to give everyone the “Bigger and Better Deal.”
WCM:You’re not just a bartender; you also serve food at your bar. With all the serving, bussing, pouring, mixing, and special orders, how do you manage it all so seamlessly?
Sean: It isn’t always easy. The trick is to make it look like it is.
WCM: Off the cuff — what’s a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?
Sean: I never loved a company or my job before. That’s priceless.
WCM: Okay, better put, how did you originally find your way to Roy’s? How long have you been working there?
Sean: I did a little research on Roy’s and found out they were opening a new restaurant in Kahana. I have been here for 18 years now.
(We must add that Sean was the first person to be hired at Roy’s, and the only original person still there)
WCM: Fill in the blank: If I weren’t the bartender at Roy’s I’d be ___________
Sean: Hopefully playing on the AVP Volleyball Tour. But realistically, I’d be playing volleyball at Kaanapali Beach with my friends.
WCM: Roy’s is undoubtedly a great place to meet and mingle, especially late nights. How do you make everyone feel so at home at your bar?
Sean: I host a party at my bar each night and I wait to see who shows up.
WCM: Ever dish out relationship advice?
Sean: No, because what goes on at Roy’s Bar, stays at Roy’s Bar.
WCM: What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened at your bar?
Sean: A guy proposed to his girl at my bar with a ring in the chocolate soufflé. She cut it open and there it was, and she said yes!
WCM: What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened in your life?
Sean: Following my baseball and football team around for two weeks to four major cities; Detroit, California and Boston.
WCM: What do you most look forward to?
Sean: Days off. We live for days off.
WCM: How do you handle prickly situations?
Sean: With finesse.
WCM: What’s your favorite libation to serve? To enjoy after hours? To toss down the drain?
Sean: My famous lemon drop is my favorite to serve, Coors Light to enjoy, and definitely bad wine to toss down the drain.
WCM: Fill in the blanks: If I never see another recession in my life, it will be too soon.
WCM: What do you like most about your job?
Sean: Seeing a smile on the face of a return guest, when I recognize them and say “Welcome back.”
WCM: What do you like most about Maui?
Sean: The Aloha of course.
WCM: What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
Golf, Volleyball, and the Tiki Bar.
WCM: Working here for 18 years, you must have your favorite menu items. What are some of your “must haves”?
Sean: Shortribs, and of course the chocolate soufflé.
WCM: Sean, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.
Sean: Mahalo and Aloha!
You can visit Sean on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Roy’s Kahana Bar and Grill. Another great reason to check out Roy’s in a more casual atmosphere is 25% off on their Classic dishes offered at the bar each night.