12 Sep Bartender Bob â Hillsdale Collegian
At the Center for ConÂstructive AlterÂnative lecÂtures, Hillsdale stuÂdents engage in vigÂorous note-taking while learning from renowned speakers. For many returning CCA guests, however, the most memÂoÂrable face is that of âbarÂtender Bob.â
AusÂtralia native Miroslaw Nej, who goes by Bob because of its simpler proÂnunÂciÂation, has been barÂtending at Hillsdale College for longer than the Searle Center has existed.
He first conÂnected with Hillsdale around 2007 during his wifeâs tenure as the execÂutive assistant for John Cervini, vice presÂident for InstiÂtuÂtional Advancement.
The college needed a barÂtender for an event and, because of his expeÂrience as a part-time barÂtender at a restaurant downtown, his wife recÂomÂmended him for the job.
Bob said after that first event, he just kept coming back.
âIâve worked CCAs, Iâve worked homeÂcoming,â he said. âIâve worked deck parties at John Cerviniâs house. Iâve worked parents weekend. I work wherever they need me.â
Once Saga Food Service got its liquor license, it encouraged Bob to fill out an appliÂcation with the collegeâs catering company.
Seven years later, when Bon Appetit took over Hillsdaleâs food serÂvices, Bob began working with them.
Hillsdale College Director of ProÂgrams for External Affairs Matt Bell said Bob has been tireless in his efforts to deliver excellent bar service at CCAs and other events.
âBob has been a mainstay of college program hosÂpiÂtality for many years,â he said. âI hope he never decides to take his perÂmanent trip to AusÂtralia.â
Bob spent his childhood in AusÂtralia and now freÂquently travels between his two homes.
He retired from life in the land down under a few years after he married his American wife. She was a schoolÂteacher in AusÂtralia when she met Bob and the two married, but they moved to America when she grew homesick.
Bob said he does not prefer life in one place over another.
âI love living in AusÂtralia and I love living in Hillsdale, so whenever Iâm in AusÂtralia I miss Hillsdale and whenever Iâm in Hillsdale I miss AusÂtralia,â he said.
One thing Bob is sure about is how much he enjoys barÂtending for the CCAs. What makes the events special among the collegeâs other events, he said, is the opporÂtunity to get to know people.
âTo be honest, I donât remember most of their names, but I remember what theyâre drinking,â he said.
He has a repÂuÂtation among many for rememÂbering peoplesâ drink order, despite how well-attended the CCA is. Director of MarÂketing for Hillsdaleâs Bon Appetit ManÂagement Company Anna HaruÂtunian has observed many of his interÂacÂtions.
âBob has made good conÂnecÂtions with people attending the CCAs,â she said. âHe knows most peoplesâ drink orders and begins making them for people before they even place their order.â
When asked about this skill, Bob humbly replied, âI donât know what it is, I think itâs just a barÂtender thing.â
Bob said he has no crazy stories from any CCA as they all go smoothly for him. He perÂforms his job and enjoys what he does.
âHe is an example to all those who wish to perform their duties well,â Bell said.
As long as Bob conÂtinues to bartend for Hillsdale, itâs safe to say that the drinks of those attending the CCAs will be in good hands.