Meet ‘Bangor’s Favorite Bartender 2016′ Mike LaBrie of Micah’s Pub
Mike LaBrie never went to bartending school. He doesn't work in the biggest bar in town. He doesn't necessarily make a lot of fancy drinks (unless of course, you ask him to.) But when we asked our listeners to choose their favorite bartender for 2016, they decided there's lots more to bartending than those things.
When we first asked you all to nominate your favorite Bangor-area bartender, we didn't know just how many there were! More than 100 people were nominated and more than 1,300 nominations were received.
After a week-long vote, LaBrie of Micah's Pub in Brewer came out on top. We weren't really that surprised. LaBrie's been behind the bar full-time for about 15 years. If you're good (which he obviously is), you can make a lot of friends in that time (which he obviously has.)
LaBrie, 43, learned on the fly, taking over night shifts of bartenders who would leave then-Charlie's Bar & Grill for other work. LaBrie took over the bar in 2014 and renamed it Micah's Pub, expanding the menu to include specialty pizzas, wraps and salads along with more traditional pub fare.
It's the kind of place where, no matter where you're sitting, you can see every other seat in the place. From the bar stools to the high top tables, everybody's on the same level, too, adding to the intimacy of the room -- a stark contrast to the vastness and brightness of the attached Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes.
LaBrie said he's thought about taking other jobs over the years, but he loves the bar scene even though he, himself, quit drinking a few years ago.
"I like this atmosphere for me," LaBrie said taking a quick break to talk during a busy Wednesday night. "I enjoy seeing people having a good time."
People are having a good time on this night, which is league night at the bowling alley. It's clear that nearly everyone who comes in is on a first-name basis with LaBrie as they "high-five" him on his win and take turns hoisting his new trophy, fashioned from a Pabst Blue Ribbon pint glass.
The people at Micah's this night are the same people who voted for LaBrie and the same people who nominated him for the award. Make no mistake. Micah's might be a small bar (you might not have even heard of it before), but its owner had a ton of nominations. Here are just a few.
Mike makes you feel at home while at his bar. He is attentive and does not get overwhelmed when the bar is packed with a group of B3 Badgers.
Mike always has a smile and great service for all that enter his place. He is a bartender at heart. Always willing to listen to your problems and serve you up the best drinks around. He has some fun things that only he does too!! Very original and one of the few who realize WHO is paying his bills.
No explanation needed. One of the most genuine people I've ever met. Go to Micah's and you'll understand.
Micah is always very friendly and personable. He is dedicated to building a strong one-on-one connection with every person that enters his bar. This is on top of the fact the he makes the most delicious food and drinks at unbeatable prices. Micah's Pub is the 'Cheers' of the Bangor area!
Mike has an ability to hold conversations with the mechanic looking for a beer, to the old lady looking for that perfect old fashioned. He's built up a clientele second to none in the area.. and that's why he's the best
This guy has been a good friend of mine for 7 years now. Between bowling, the Old Charlies Bar and Grill and now his 2 year long solely owned Micah's Pub, he has come a very long way. Mike, aka "Micah", treats his customers very well and has been a great supportive friend and bartender for many years. Through his 3 years of sobriety, He supports his friends and the community through donations and sponsorships for softball teams and volleyball teams as well as offering friendly one on one talks for emotional support when a friend needs a shoulder to lean on. He works very hard 6 nights a week, loves spending time with his beloved wife, Becca, whom is also a great friend of mine as well as raising a wonderful young girl of 7 years now, McKenna! Mike would be a great nominee for this Bangor Area award.
He treats his customers like family and it's a place where you can not go for months and it still feels like home when you go back.
He is extremely friendly and super speedy making drinks. He can make ANYTHING that is requested, even if it is not in a bar tending book, My favorite is the one I call Candy Apple, made with Apple Pucker, Fireball Whiskey and Cranberry juice!
Next year, if we do this again, LaBrie won't be in the running, and he's cool with that. Someone new will win it each year, and -- based on all the nominations we received -- there are lots of great bartenders in the area for sure.
Stay tuned next week as LaBrie comes into the morning show to talk with us about his time behind the bar.