Dustin Rodriguez is the general manager and beverage director of The Bamboo Club in Long Beach. “It was the first tiki-themed bar in the area, and we host local musicians and DJ’s on the regular, in addition to having a full lineup of recurring events.” Learn about Dustin Rodriguez…
Hometown: Originally from Colorado Springs, CO
First job: I entered the workforce in 1997 and was a busser/dishwasher at Amanda’s Fonda in Colorado.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I’m an avid record collector and DJ so I spend a lot of time digging at my favorite record and vinyl shops.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Curating the bar menu at The Bamboo Club that people come from all over SoCal and beyond to enjoy. Additionally, I’m proud of my efforts in making sure that The Bamboo Club and our crew were still around after COVID.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: COVID and the regulations that the restaurant industry faced. We watched many of our local bars and restaurants close during that time, so it was truly a test for us every day.
Someone who inspires you and why: Chef Arthur Gonzalez, who was the chef and owner/founder of several Long Beach restaurants. I worked for him for a few years, and I watched him open four restaurants all with different themes, and all with amazing food. He was the first person to ask me what I really wanted to do with my bartending career, and he taught me a lot about the service industry. Rest in peace, Chef.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Pay attention to detail. People can get a drink anywhere, what makes yours different? Take your time to become the bartender you want to be.
Favorite quote: “Mistakes make masterful teachers” –Nas
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m a crazy cat lady at heart.
What makes someone fabulous: Attitude and willingness to learn.