Macara “Mac” Hinds got into bartending to help pay for school, but the job didn’t just keep her out of debt. It took her around the world — to no fewer than 42 countries.
Hinds, 36, is a bartender at Hawkeye’s Pub and Grill in Lake Stevens. Before that, she served drinks at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on the German-Austrian border in the Alps.
No wonder she has a tattoo on her right arm that says “Go Everywhere.”
Here, Hinds, of Lake Stevens, talks about globetrotting, working at Hawkeye’s and training to be a pilot.
What drew you to bartending?
I had just turned 21, and I went out for a drink with a friend. Her best friend was the bartender there, and I was looking for a second job. I was in college at the University of Washington and I needed to make more money. So, I started out just cocktail serving, and then I eventually learned the drinks and they trained me behind the bar. I’ve been doing it on and off ever since.
Why did you stick with it?
The money is good. And a flexible schedule has always been really important, because I’ve usually been in school or it’s been a second job to make more money on the side. I’ve also been able to travel with it. I bartended at a hotel in the German Alps for almost three years, so that was really cool. Then I came home and bartended over the summer, and then I spent a year in Australia doing the same thing. It’s definitely allowed me to see a lot of the world and do it in a fun way.
How did you get the gig in Germany?
A friend of mine saw an ad on Craigslist. It’s a military-run hotel, so it’s for everyone stationed in Europe doing their R&R and whatnot. It’s basically a giant ski resort-lodge in the Alps. They actually fly you out, put you up in employee housing and give you a job. I was really fortunate because you don’t get to pick your job once you get to the hotel, but they just happened to need a bartender when I got there, which was awesome because I had friends who were stuck in housekeeping, custodial and jobs that didn’t make tips or get paid as much hourly.
What drinks did you serve there?
We had a lot of Bavarian beer on draft. We also had these giant, three-liter beer towers that we would sell. The drinking age is only 18 there, so it was crazy. They also host large events, like military balls, birthdays, Christmas events and single soldier retreats, which were a nightmare. It was packed every weekend.
Did you go country-hopping on your days off?
I was on the German-Austrian border, so we were able to pop over into Austria whenever we wanted. My ski pass was good for eight different resorts — four in Germany and four in Austria — so we’d drive 20 minutes down the road and be in Austria and have a new mountain to snowboard. We did road trips to Lake Garda in Italy in the summer. I also road-tripped to Venice, Poland and Belgium. Then I took flights to Norway, Egypt and Thailand. I saw a lot of places that I never really considered traveling to before.
How did you end up at Hawkeye’s Pub and Grill?
Craigslist, again. I actually grew up in Lake Stevens. I drove by this place a million times, but never actually stopped in for whatever reason. I was working at a more corporate place in Bellevue, and I didn’t really like it. I was tired of the commute and not making great money, so I just answered the ad here and they gave me the job. I loved it right away.
What are you like as a bartender?
I would definitely say I’m sarcastic. I’m personable with people. I remember their drinks. I hustle and try to do a good job.
Do you have a good memory?
Yes, I pretty much have the menu down. I took a 12-top (restaurant lingo for 12 orders at a table) the other night and didn’t write anything down. People get nervous, though, and I’m like, “No, I got it.” I’ve done this a long time.
Is there a drink you especially like to make?
There’s a drink my friend created way back when we started bartending that I like to make for girls who don’t know what they want to drink. It’s made with Stoli Razberi Vodka, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, Sprite and cranberry juice. We call it the “Bruno Drink.” It’s a nickname that my best friend picked up a long time ago and the name kind of just stuck. Usually it goes over pretty well — it turns purple and it tastes like a popsicle.
What would be the theme song to your shift?
“I Need a Dollar” by Aloe Blacc.
What are you up to outside of work?
I’m a single-engine pilot in training. I fly out of Harvey Airfield in Snohomish. I’m working toward my private pilot’s license. I only need about three more solo hours, and then I have to pass my written test and check ride, and I’ll be a licensed pilot. Next, I’ll work on my commercial pilot’s license. I want to fly commercially at the airlines eventually, so that’s kind of the end goal. But I’m paying as I go and it’s really expensive, hence bartending. It’ll probably take me a couple more years to get to that level, but right now it’s all working out.
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
Hawkeye’s Pub and Grill, 1002 Vernon Road, Lake Stevens, is open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday. Call 425-335-4359 or find Hawkeyes Sports Bar and Restaurant on Facebook.