Patrick Barrenechea of Limoncello talks about football, good food and great friends.
How long have you been bartending? Only for the past year, but I’ve been at Limoncello for five years.
And what do you think qualifies you to be bartender of the month? I guess because I enjoy making a good drink? I want people to like their drinks, so I always put in the effort. It’s a relaxed environment. People might sit their with a martini for an hour and catch up with friends, so having really good drink is important.
What has kept you at Limoncello for five years? Everyone who comes to work here becomes part of the Limoncello family right away. The Mingrinos, the owners, take care of us, the managers are great, and the customers—we have great a clientele. There are customers who’ve become great friends of mine, whether we’re talking at the bar, playing fantasy football, or watching a game together.
What are the perks of the job? I’d never even eaten at Limoncello before I worked here, so being able to eat this amazing food all the time is a definite perk.
How about the perks of being a bartender? I get to know the clientele better than I did as a server. I get to engage in conversation with people while they’re sitting with me, having a drink.
Why’d you get into the service industry? Honestly, just because it was an opportunity that was presented to me. Limoncello is the first restaurant I’ve ever worked at, and I started out part-time bussing tables. I was in school at the time, and before here I was working part-time at Subway, so this was a major step up, and it’s turned into a full-time job that I very much enjoy.
When’s the best time to visit you? Probably Fridays for happy hour. From 4-6:30pm we have $3 drafts, most wines are $6, $2 off martinis, and happy hour tapas, plus discounts on the best pizza in West Chester.
If you’re not working behind the bar, what are you doing? I’m usually watching soccer. I actually take time off to watch matches.
That’s dedication. You don’t find too many hardcore soccer fans in America. Well, I grew up in Germany, and my parents live in Frankfurt. Bayern is my team, and over here I have season tickets to the Philly Union.
Wait, you grew up in Germany? My father was in the army, so he was stationed outside of Frankfurt. I grew up there, and lived there until I came here for college.
What was your connection to West Chester? My grandparents lived an hour away in Palmyra, so West Chester was close enough that if I ever needed anything they could come help me out… or bail me out.
What made you decide to stay? I like it here. I was thinking about going back, but my friends in Germany moved away, and the friends I’ve made here—my co-workers, my job—made me want to stay.
Interview: Dan Mathers
Photo: Sabina Sister