George Armenta: Loving Life after Tabatha at Club Ripples
George, how long have you been a bartender?
I’ve only been bartending about 16 months, since I came to Club Ripples.
When can we come see you in action?
I usually can be seen at Club Ripples on Wednesday nights, as I host "Freshman15 - College Night." I also work at Club Ripples on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
What do you enjoy most about working at Long Beach’s longest running gay and lesbian nightclub?
Club Ripples has really been a melting pot of opportunities for me. I’ve forged some really great relationships with co-workers and customers. It’s nice to have a talented group of people working alongside me who are not only encouraging and nurturing, but genuinely good and kind people. It has really made working at the club feel less like a job, and more like I’m just hanging out with my friends.
We loved the recent Tabatha Takes Over Club Ripples episode on Bravo. What was that experience like for you?
Being part of Tabatha Takes Over was a great and exciting experience. Not only having my "15 minutes of fame," but also being able to see a transformation in the business, owners, and staff, was really the most rewarding part. It’s been nice having both new and old customers come in and speak so positively about the makeover, the owners and the episode. Another great moment was being able to get behind the bar at The Abbey. The Abbey is like the "gay bartender motherland."
One of the funniest moment was having to say "Tabatha’s gonna f*ck the shit out of John and Larry" on camera. I had the crew giggling and we had to redo the take a few times. The staff and I also joked that once the episode aired; we would all need to find a new job. But thanks to some great editing, Bravo didn’t show half the bad things we said.
Club Ripples has something fun going on every night of the week. What are some of your favorite events?
I really enjoy Bear Bar on the second Saturday of every month. It’s not just for big, hairy, sweaty guys, but there are a lot of hot sexy, freshly showered guys who come too. College Night is always fun, especially watching young guys playing beer pong in their underwear. Sunday Beer Bust is also a great and fun time. I remember coming to Club Ripples in my early 20s, enjoying the draft beer and patio BBQ... and then passing out on the beach, after getting so f*cked up.
How will Club Ripples be celebrating Long Beach Pride this year?
Club Ripples will kick off Pride on Wednesday, May 16, with College Night - Gay Pride Gone Wild. Then Thursday, May 17 will be a special Gay Pride Drag Show. Unzipped-Pride Weekend Kick Off will take place Friday, May 18. Then on Saturday, May 19 is The Rainbow Party and on Sunday, May 20 we will have a Patio BBQ and Blow Out Party. Club Ripples will also be offering a free shuttle to and from the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Wow! What a line up. You may need a little R&R after all that. What do you like to do in your free time?
I really enjoy going to the theatre-and no-not AMC or Edwards. I’m a huge music and performing arts lover and I make it a point to see a musical or concert every month. I’m also a sucker for traveling, shopping, mani-pedis, massages and facials. But more often than not, I just enjoy hanging out with friends, sharing a few drinks and some great laughs.
Sounds nice. Now that we’re getting personal, tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
First, I’ll be turning 40 this year, a few of my co-workers like to remind me that I’m older than their father. But, unless you’re sleeping with me, don’t call me Daddy. I also get my haircut every week and I like to shower 3 to 4 times a day.
Finally, a question we like to ask all our featured bartenders-If you were a cocktail, what would you be and why?
I’d be a "Hawaiian Hooker Shot"(Patron and Pine- apple Juice). Because a Hawaiian Hooker is strong and hard, and always hits the spot!
Club Ripples is located at 5101 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach. For more information visit clubripples.com.