Scene & Heard, Springfield

Brian Peterson: cafe’s ‘rockstar’ bartender

Brian Peterson

SPRINGFIELD – With Cornbread Cafe’s presence being relatively new in Springfield, manager Nick Keough said they needed top-notch service industry folks to get the vegan cafe ready to rock.
That said, Brian Peterson, known as ”a rockstar” by his employers, walked through their doors at the perfect time.
”Brian has been pivotal to helping us get our feet on the ground at our new location,” Keough said. It’s just one reason why management chose Peterson as most outstanding restaurant employee for National Restaurant Hospitality Month.
”I take my job very seriously wherever it is that I work,” said Peterson, lead server and bartender. ”It’s just something I am passionate about. I was raised to work hard at whatever job that I am doing.”
Peterson goes above and beyond for the Main Street vegan cafe on a daily basis, Keough said. He has even filled in, covering for both the bar and house managers while they were on vacation.
”He brings intuition, creativity and experience to the table that has really helped us be more prepared and cohesive for whatever comes our way,” Keough said.
Peterson said that, among other responsibilities, he is responsible for training and making sure servers follow the fine dining serving style and techniques used at Cornbread. He sees that as paying forward training he received in the past: ”I had a lot of great mentors to guide me along the way, who helped me figure a lot of things out that are not easy to everyone,” he said.
Peterson has worked for the Springfield Cornbread Cafe location since mid-July. He has eight years of experience as a bartender, beginning his career in Seattle where he mixed drinks in theatre bars. A couple years later, he was a bartender at an Indian restaurant. He also worked for a short time as a bar manager for a theater company in Portland before returning home to Eugene.
Peterson posts his daily drink specials often on the Cafe’s Instagram account. He said his specialty drink is a Manhattan – a whiskey version of a martini.
Importantly, Peterson feels he’s found his work ”home.”
”I’ve worked in a lot of difficult places over the past few years and I am finally at a really good place at Cornbread Cafe,” Peterson said. ”I feel that I am listened to as an employee and respected by the management team, and that goes a long mile when you are working as a server and bartender – just knowing that you have people that you are working for, who have your back.”
The feeling is mutual: ”Being in the service industry isn’t always easy, but having hard-working and lively team members by your side, like Brian, always helps,” Keough said.



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