Denise La Pointe is kind of like Superman. After she finishes flying around High-Beck Tavern serving drinks, La Pointe changes into her mild-mannered alter ego and goes to nearby law offices to provide billing services.
Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
Years behind the bar: 13
Denise La Pointe is kind of like Superman. After she finishes flying around High-Beck Tavern serving drinks, La Pointe changes into her mild-mannered alter ego and goes to nearby law offices to provide billing services. Her not-so-secret transition between two work environments isn't as stark as one might imagine. "Depending on the day, I would say 80 percent of the people at [the bar's] happy hour are attorneys," she said.
Why do lawyers, and others, like returning to the bar?
I think it's unpretentious and just completely laid-back - it's very real. You're not going to get special treatment because you're an attorney, judge or anything else. You're treated just like anybody else. I don't know if the attorneys appreciate that, but everybody else does [laughs].
Do you enjoy your unusual work schedule?
I like it. I get to set my own schedule so I can come and go as I please. It's a great blend because I don't want to do office work full-time, but I also don't want to bartend full-time.
How did you get into bartending?
I got started at Dalt's. When I was growing up in Worthington Hills it was the only place to go and it was, like, the cool place. I hosted first, then I waited tables, then I worked my way up to bartender - rigorous training program, and I'm not kidding.
What is it about High-Beck that's kept you there for 12 years?
The regulars. The people that come in here are really interesting; you've got a good mix usually.
Being from Michigan, what do you think of the Ohio rivalries?
I don't think the [OSU] rivalry is as big of a deal there. If I go back to Michigan and I'm wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt, nobody is going to say anything. I grew up a Red Wings fan, but I'm a Blue Jackets person now, so I'm OK [laughs].
What do you do for fun?
Pretty much anything outdoors, I like to be active. I'm very excited that I'm on a volleyball team finally. Weekends, I probably take my dog for a walk, maybe grab a couple drinks, wander around Downtown and the Short North - in the daytime, I'm not a nighttime person anymore.