Bottoms Up with Lucas Marincelj of Trans Am Restaurant

Thursday 07th, December 2017 / 07:10

Photo by David Gauthier

How did you start bartending?
I started bartending when I was nineteen at a neighbourhood pub down the street from my house in Toronto. At that time I wanted to bartend more than anything. Being young, impressionable and somewhat socially awkward, I figured being a bar man would make girls like me. I wanted the job so bad that I went to that bar every day for two weeks with a fresh resume until they finally just gave me one bussing shift a week to shut me up. I eventually worked my way up from there.

How long have you worked at Trans Am?
I showed up at Trans Am about nine months ago during closed hours on a mutual friend’s recommendation. I can still remember the dirty look on Gianmarco’s face when I popped my head in the door, as if I was going to ask him “So, is this a dentist’s office?” Since then we have developed our very own variety of in-house bitters, syrups, infusions and even liqueurs.

Best thing about your job?
Total creative freedom I suppose. Improvisation is the backbone of what we do, and is essential to the personal experience of our guests – new and old. I also get to work with a great friend.

Photo by David Gauthier

Favourite drink to make?
A little drink I call Sage & Whiskey, a modern take on the Old Fashioned. Made with local white rye, muddled sage, house-made grapefruit bitters & vanilla syrup all stirred together, poured over hand-cut ice and smoked with a thick cloud of burning sage.

Go-to on a night off?
I would say Trans Am makes up the majority of my social life. The rest of my time is spent on music; either playing in bands or producing bands. I do, however, frequent Tangent Cafe on Sunday’s for a hearty breakfast.

Greatest night you’ve ever had at work.
That’s difficult. The greatest nights I’ve had are attached more to a feeling than a specific time. It’s the feeling that whatever it is you’re doing is working, the people you’re in the company of are connecting and that the experience you are providing is one-of-a-kind.

The worst?
Full moons, or when people ask for paralyzers and I have to tell them “This place is not for you.”

Trans Am is located at 1879 Powell Street