10 Questions: Charlie Papaceno

Yeah, so he worked for the A & E network in New York and made commercials in Dallas for years.

Big deal--Papaceno's father and uncle owned taverns in New York (the state, not the big city), and he helped out when old enough...meaning at the age of 13, maybe 14. That's when the owner and bartender of Windmill Lounge first learned the magic of old fashioned cocktails.

Four or five years ago, Papaceno found an off-the-beaten-path location to set up an old-fashioned neighborhood bar, something Mr. Dallas referred to as a "dive of distinction," serving unadulterated classics.

But you may find out that one of the Teletubbies frightens the bejeezus out of him...

1. Why cocktails? Because fun takes the longer way around. We could just take moonshine and get drunk, but there's no fun in that. You don't want to eat the same food everyday; you want some variety in what you drink.

2. President Obama started a series of cocktail hours at the White House. Don't you think you should be in on that? I'll work them for free.

3. The cocktail era had guys like Cary Grant. Are cocktails more masculine than other drinks? I think not. They were just bigger people then. It's strange, as the country progresses, we've become more puritanical. You can't have fun without upsetting someone. But people need some downtime, and that's what cocktails are about.

4. Whatever happened to the three-martini lunch? I'm not sure I ever had a three martini lunch. I had a two martini lunch once. But I had jobs where I had to go back to work after lunch.

5. So what does 'dive of distinction' mean? It means it's a dive where if you sit down at a place just vacated by someone, you won't get wet...and it doesn't smell of vomit. Hopefully it means you want to stay.

6. What's wrong with just drinking water? Why not just wear sweat pants all the time?

7. There are no destination spots around. Why put a bar here? Because the building was empty and had a windmill on top. I was driving by and saw it. I thought 'that would make a good bar.' There was no market research involved.

8. What do you need to stock a bar at home? To stock a bar you basically need vodka, bourbon, scotch. You can probably get away without gin these days. But tequila and Cointreau--you need those for Margaritas. That's what you need for the bare minimum hom bar. But at my house...

9. Do you have a favorite drink? That's tough. I drink anything. But lately, I've been drinking rum. Somebody recently gave me some 25 year-old rum--amazing.

10, Wouldn't it be fun to see a bar fight between Mr. Rogers and Tinky Winky? The pay per view fees would be expensive. But wait...Tinky Winky carries a bag. Who knows what's in there. Maybe a few bottles or bricks. 

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