This edition of Atwater Village news features a legendary figure in the area’s bar scene. For the last four decades, Enrique “Ricky” Rosas has been a staple figure behind the bar of Tam O’Shanter. And now, the community is giving back by paying tribute to the man, the myth, and the legend.
45 Years and Counting
In his tender teen years, Rosas emigrated from Mexico to get a taste of the American dream. Like many others in the restaurant industry, he began his career at the lowest end of the totem pole, working in the kitchen and serving as a busboy. He continued to climb the ladder as a barback before finally getting his chance as the bartender at the age of 19.
Owners of Tam O’Shanter have deemed Rosas as one of the longest-serving bartenders in one location in all of Los Angeles. So much so that he’s seen everything, from a naked man jumping on piano to receiving hefty tips from the legendary Rod Stewart.
Hurdling Through the ‘Biggest Challenges’
Rosas lived through different phases of Tam O’Shanter and saw the many changes along the way. He was able to power through what he deems as the biggest challenges of the establishment when smoking bans inside the bar were being imposed. According to him, the establishment “lost a lot of customers” and it gave a bit of a difficult time for smokers, including himself.
But he saw business gradually improve when the bar built a patio area for its customers. Nowadays, Rosas says the fine whiskey selection of Tam O’Shanter has drawn in a younger crowd, which only means the business has no other way but up.
“Getting Closer” to Retirement
Now 65 years of age, Rosas says he is beginning to feel “a little ache here and there.” And as he gradually slows down physically, he says he feels he is already “getting closer” to retirement. But according to him, his “body still moves right,” and since his aches are “nothing he can’t handle,” he plans to continue for as long as he can.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t even hinder Rosas from doing what he loves. While he says he “thought about” ending his lengthy run, he never had any plans of turning his back on his chosen profession.
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