Kenny “the Pirate” Sanders
Occupation: Bartender at Lucky Strike bar and bowling palace in Fort Worth
What drinks are you most bad-ass at? Old-fashioneds, and dirty martinis, if you like them filthy.
What makes a martini particularly filthy? Extra olive juice, but there’s a balance you have to throw in. A lot of people just pour [in] a jug of olive juice. You balance vermouth, vodka or gin — my preference — and olive juice. And the right amount of olives.
But you’re a pirate. Don’t pirates just work with rum and grog? Eh, yeah, but I’m on West Seveth Street and I have to blend in more.
Why are you called the Pirate? My father told me I had the luck of a pirate. Also, I usually have Captain Morgan in one hand while looting the drinks and snacks of others during a party.
How does a pirate wind up on Seventh Street where there’s no water for a pirate ship. Once they get the bridge done, I’ll have the bridge back down to the Trinity River. And they have the Panther Island Pavilion, so I can float from here down to there and back up.
When you’re not up here slinging drinks, what does the pirate do? I’m either bowling up here, I’m writing, or I’m just flying a kite. I love to fly kites.
What’s your favorite drink, off the clock? That would have to be a mai tai, extra rum. Pretty much all rum, a little bit of amaretto and a little pineapple juice.
Do you consider yourself a bartender or a mixologist? Just a bartender. I feel I spend more time engaging my guests and hanging out and serving people than just making drinks and giving them out and trying to add weird ingredients. I appreciate all the new and fresh ingredients, but I like the classic stuff. Just give me some cocktail onions and some pickled eggs on the bar-top.
I don’t see any pickled eggs here. We’ve got deviled eggs, but only during happy hour.
What’s your favorite food here? The turkey club, because there’s a fried egg and avocado on it.
What’s your favorite local band? Bomb Atomic and Sally Majestic. The last Bomb Atomic show I went to just blew me away.
You’re stranded on a desert island, what music would you take with you and what drink would you take with you? Funk and just a bottle of plain ol’ rum. I was raised on funk. Parliament Funkadelic.
What would you like your customers to know, if you could tell them anything about ordering drinks from your bar?
Know what you are drinking, know what goes into your drink, and just be educated about what you drink. On a slow night, I can talk to you and find out your likes and dislikes. But when you ask us to just whip up something, I might not know you’re allergic to oranges and it might have orange juice.
If you could ban any drink, which one would it be? Lemon drops. It’s just the squeezing of all the lemons and putting all the sugar on the rim. You get all sticky.
— Steve Watkins, Special to the Star-Telegram