Getting to know your neighbor: catch some tunes and wet your whistle at the Southtowner
The Popovski family also owns Kiril’s Restaurant on Main Street in Springville. “Saint Kiril created the Russian alphabet,” Popovski explained. His son Carl manages that restaurant.
During the day, while Day Manager Rosa Kingsley holds sway over the bar, TVs hung over the bar broadcast music videos. During the evening, those TVs are turned to hockey or football games, or “whatever anyone wants to watch,” Kingsley said. A digital, Web-based jukebox stands in the center of the room and three sets of speakers broadcast users’ choices of music throughout the bar.
In addition to taking care of the bulk of the event planning, Kingsley is also in charge of ordering the liquor. She currently has 21 types of vodkas at the bar and 13 flavors of rum. “We do try to keep up-to-date with the newest flavors out there,” she said. “We have the best selection of liquor in town.”
“I love to mix shots,” Kingsley said. “The taste depends on the person mixing and what liquors they’re using.”
The liquor is purchased through distributors, who bring in their wares for the Southtowner employees to sample. “A lot of things come and go,” Kingsley said. “If there is a launch party for [a new liquor], the reps will help with that.”
When Kingsley’s shift is finished, Night Manager Jeff Tassef takes over at the bar and four additional bartenders keep customers’ thirsts quenched.
Kingsley, who has tended bar at various restaurants and bars in many different states, never had any formal training, but stepped in for a sick coworker nearly 20 years ago and has been going strong ever since. “I love it,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to work at a job where I’m just sitting still all day. I get to talk to people all day long. If you knew the things I knew about people, it’d make your hair curl. That’s the great thing about living in a small town,” Kingsley said.
A customer nursing his drink a few seats away nodded at Kingsley and said that he keeps coming back to the Southtowner just to see her. With a smile at the man, whom she called a “staple” at the bar, Kingsley said, “We all have our regulars here. I really love it. There’s no better way to make money. It’s a very relaxed environment, even at night.”
While the Southtowner is now equipped with an ID scanner to verify the authenticity of identification cards, and the smoking ban now requires customers to take their cigarettes outside, Kingsley said that not much else has changed on her side of the bar, overall.
“The younger crowd does hang out here more now,” she said. “It used to be more of the older people. Now kids aren’t going out and having keg parties in the fields anymore.”
The Southtowner bar is located at 19 West Main St. in Springville. The business opens at noon every day except on Sunday, when it opens at 5 p.m. The bar can stay open until 4 a.m. The kitchen serves food from noon – 10 p.m. and the fryer closes around 2 a.m. For more information, call 592-4001 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Southtowner/253331104691147.