Local barkeep Peter Dansdill, aka Pete to friends and regulars, has been tending bar for eight years, the past five at the popular Seafood Shanty in Edgartown. When not serving up libations, Pete can be found fishing, hanging at the beach, and drinking. This Week interviewed him to find out more about who he is and what he does.
TW: Do you come from off island?
PD: I do, I come from Salem, Massachusetts.
TW: Can you describe it a bit?
PD: Pretty historic place, lots of witches.
TW: How long have you been on the Vineyard?
PD: 5 years.
TW: How long have you been at the Seafood Shanty?
PD: 5 years.
TW: Year round or just summers?
PD: Just the summers and two winters.
TW: How long have you been a bartender?
PD: Eight years.
TW: What about off-season?
PD: I do some travelling here and there, live in different places … Scottsdale and Key West.
TW: What do you like most about M.V.?
PD: Fishing, working, beaches, summer, pretty much all of it.
TW: What makes the Seafood Shanty so special from your perspective?
PD: I love it! I love the owners, great people. I love everybody I work with. It’s a fun job. Just a lot of fun in general.
TW: How did you learn to make drinks? Did you go to mixology school?
PD: No, I just learned. I started as a busboy and then bumped up to a server and then started waiting tables and then started bartending. I’ve loved it ever since.
TW: Was there someone you followed or learned from?
PD: Not really. Sorta got thrown to the wolves, and that was it.
TW: How many drinks do you mix on a busy night?
PD: IDK, maybe about a thousand, maybe more.
TW: How much should people tip a bartender?
PD: Depends on how good looking you are.
TW: What’s the most popular drink at the Seafood Shanty?
PD: Bud Light.
TW: Just Bud Light?
PD: IDK, we do some mixed drinks as well. The Bloody Mary is a good one.
TW: What’s the biggest tip you’ve ever gotten?
PD: $200, $250. Something like that.
TW: What prompted that?
PD: IDK, you just get talking to people sometimes and they really like you, that’s how it works.
TW: Have you ever given out drinks on the house?
PD: No, almost never. Once in a while.
TW: Have you ever created your own drink?
TW: What would you name it if you were to?
PD: I’m not really sure.
TW: Are you able to go to sleep after you get off work, or do you need to wind down?
PD: I like to wind down. You know, sometimes I gotta work until three, go to bed at four, then I’m back to work at five.