REMEMBERING JOE NEGRETE
April 4, 1981 - April 4, 2020
When you start behind a new bar, even with a decade of experience, the other bartenders always look at you and size you up. Sometimes you notice it directly and sometimes you just feel the gaze and the weight of it. My first shift behind the bar at Timberline with Joe didn’t have that feeling at all. Joe immediately welcomed me in and gave me the rundown
of the bar as well as his phone number in case I needed anything. During the training he explained that when we greet guests by introducing ourselves as well as the other bartenders in order to give the illusion of teamwork. “Illusion of teamwork?” I said. We laughed about it. He then told me about the team they’d had for years and how everyone had become tight knit such that they flowed like water and ran the bar in a fluid and natural way. Lately that had changed as a few of the bartenders had gotten burned out.
Over the years I got to see amazing things happen, that fluidity came back to the bar team with Joe always as a central figure. We became friends and had our own crew both behind the bar and outside of work. Joe even joined me in Las Vegas for my brother’s bachelor party and quickly made friends with complete strangers. He called me on my vacation to Mexico just to make sure I was having a good time.
Joe’s ability to love and treat everyone as a brother or sister and greet them with hugs and genuine care, interest, and affection made Joe everyone’s friend. He touched the hearts of everyone he met and we were all better because of him.
– Brad Kaplan
Joe was more than just a friend to everyone. He was the perfect example of how people should treat one another. It used to make me mad that no matter what the circumstances were he would never get upset. He was that guy you could meet buy chance and never see again but always remember.
– Sean Leniton
When Joe was working the well. I remember telling him “Dude you are a machine” his response with the biggest smile on his face as he was making 25 drinks was “I am a machine”.
– Larry Rios
Hey Joe! One of my favorite memories of you was when we were doing a promo (25 cent pilsner for the first beer only on the 25th anniversary) and this customer kept harassing me insisting that every Pilsner he had would be 25 cents. The customer wouldn’t stop and I was new behind the bar so I was too nervous to stand up to the guest. I went over to you and told you what was going on…so you then proceeded to embarrass him by asking EVERY guest sitting next to him if they would buy him his next beer since he couldn’t afford to drink anything other than a 25 cent beer. The guest apologized and said he was “just joking” paid his tab, tipped us $20 in cash and left.
– Cheyenne Bentley
Amy and Joe helped my husband and I when we were in a bind and our dog Phoenix was a puppy. She stayed with them for 2 days and that was 2 years ago. To this day if you say Joe’s name she perks up and starts looking for him. I dread the day I will have to say good bye to Phoenix but Joe did tell me that he would watch her for me anytime. I will be taking him up on that. A lover of people, animals and all things fun. Joe will be so missed.
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