Hot Drinks

Kartabar's Paige Mosberg on flaming cocktails


I hear you’re new to Providence. What do you think?
Yes, I’m from Long Island and just moved to Providence in September. Prior to that, I lived in Australia. I love getting up early and discovering Providence – finding new places and good food.

What led you to Kartabar?
My mother and I were driving around Providence as I looked for a place to live. I loved how Kartabar looked: no big gaudy sign. The tables right next to open windows reminded me of New York. I sent my resume as soon as I got home.

How do you like working here so far?

This is one of the few places I’ve worked at where I can honestly say the food is very good. The hummus is amazing here. I think it’s the owner’s secret recipe. And the Chilean sea bass, served with champagne and tomatoes – it’s incredible. Oh and our cocktails are crazy.

Crazy how?
We put glow sticks in just about everything. I don’t think there is anything we can’t do. We have so many products on our shelves to create any cocktail a customer wants. It’s quite funny to watch me climb the bar to grab something from the top shelf. We always try to make everyone’s drinks super pretty and make everyone feel special. We also make this shot called Swine Flu that we light on fire. People try to take the shot while they are still lit and are then surprised when it’s hot. Hello, it’s on fire! I’ve never worked at a bar where we light so much stuff on fire.

How did you get into bartending?
I was waitressing in New York when a bartending position became open and management just offered me the spot. I had no experience. It goes to show, a phenomenal push-up bra and a pair of heels will get you anywhere in life.

How do New york drinkers differ from RI drinkers?
They actually might be better here – not as obnoxious and needy. Rhode Islanders are more friendly; I get hit on more here. I love New York, but the people there tend to be more condescending and tend to assume that because you work in the hospitality industry, you must not have an education. I’m currently getting my MBA at Johnson and Wales.

What was bartending in Australia like?
It’s so crazy. You get paid $20 an hour; it’s not a tipping culture. If I wanted to get tipped, I had to zaza it up. The regulation of alcohol is very strict there. Everything is a 30ml pour. Their cocktails are insane, like art. We do fun stuff, but in Australia it’s crazy over the top.

What do you dislike most about the trade?
Cleaning at 2:30am. I hate cleaning. My feet hurt and I just want to climb into bed. I wear combat boots behind the bar. I don’t wear Crocs; I don’t believe in them.

Kartabar, bar, bartender, drinks, cocktail, restaurant, Providence, Providence Monthly, Paige Mosberg


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