Behind The Bar

Tiffany Hewitt on the ferry Anna C.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:00pm

Tiffany Hewitt
on the ferry
Anna C.

Q:How long have you been bartending on the ferry?

A:I've been working for Interstate  17 years. I started out answering phones and  selling tickets and in the summer of '98 I started bartending. The owner Sue Linda is my great aunt. My mom worked with Sue for 21 years. 


Q:How have things changed since you started?

A:We have so much more product! We didn't have things like Cup o' Noodles. We had water, a couple beers, hot dogs. And it was a four-key register! Now it's 70 and there's a big list of cocktails.  


Q:Have you bartended anywhere else on Block Island?

A:I worked two summers at the Beachead. Kimberly was on the boat and asked, 'Wanna come work for me?' I said, 'I work here five days a week.' She said, 'You've got two left!' So I did Tuesdays and Wednesdays there.


Q:Where are you from?

A:I grew up in Montville, Connecticut, it's the same town as Mohegan Sun. It’s where they keep the ferries in winter. 


Q:Where do you spend your winters?

A:Bartending on the ferry sometimes!  This past winter, I took five months  off and worked in Mystic as a waitress at the Daniel Packer Inn. 


Q:When you started did you think you'd be working here this long?

A:Definitely not! But it’s not a bad thing. I make my own schedule. And 

I like being on the water. I mean, this is my office! I enjoy talking with the customers, too.


Q:What’s the best thing about working the bar on the ferry?

A:Being on the water. I don’t like being stuck inside. 

Q:What’s the worst thing about it?

A:The bad rides in winter, when the bow goes straight down and you’re afraid it’s not coming back up. When everything is flying off the shelves — I like being neat and organized.


Q:Talk about the worst ride you've been on.

A:Back when this boat was doing the New London trip. It took two hours to get here and then the wind had picked up so we couldn’t dock. We had to go back. I was trying to re-book space for some 26 cars and 60 to 70 people. At midnight I was still finding hotels for all those people, families — even dogs — in New London that night. 


Q:What qualities do you most value in a customer? 

A:Knowing what they want. And being friendly and polite. Saying please and thank you, the basics. 


Q:What superpower would be most helpful to have as a bartender? 

A:Mind-reading! Or arms like Inspector Gadget.


Q:What's the weirdest thing a customer has said to you?

A:‘The reason you’re not serving me is your eyebrows are too thin.’


Q:What’s your favorite story from behind the bar?

A:We used to post a list of silly questions people asked us: What time does the 9:30 ferry leave? Is your coffee hot? Do we have to wait until it stops raining for the boat to leave? 


Q:Say you have a night off on the island, where would you go for a…

…Romantic evening?

A:The Manisses, outside in the garden

…Family dinner?

A:The Oar.

…Girls’ night out?

A:Kittens for White Girl Wednesdays.