2440 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
703 841 9700
Bartending School Reviews
Hire a Bartender / Bartender Services
Bartending License / TAM Certification
Bartending Job Placement Updates:
If you take a trip to Arlington, Virginia, not only will you meet a group of students that are in the process of turning a simple, inexpensive 40-hour course into a lucrative full or part time career, but also the men and women that are molding them into the bartenders of tomorrow. At the Professional Bartending School, you will find one of the oldest bartending schools on the east coast. It is staffed by the region’s best and most knowledgeable bartenders–most of whom are former graduates. In fact the staff members that took the class, represent the goals of so many potential students: A way to learn a skill, bartend, have fun, and make tremendous money.
Collectively our staff has nearly a century of bartending experience in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area’s hot spots and high-end restaurants. Take the opportunity to visit our school, sit in on a free class, meet the staff and ask them any questions. For now, here is a brief introduction to our family.
The nation’s Capitol is filled with politicians, power-brokers, lobbyists, and a plethora of international dignitaries making backroom deals, forming the laws of the country and the world; however, Washington’s true little secret is that you know Tommy. In a city that consumes more alcohol per-capita than any other in the country, if you’ve been to a bar in the last 40-some-odd years you have met someone that was trained, managed, or otherwise influenced by Tommy Hanavan and The Professional Bartending School.
Tommy began his career in hospitality innocently enough: as a way to pay his way through State University of New York without the need for student loans. What he ultimately found was much, much more. After graduating college, he decided to continue on in the food and beverage industry because he discovered something that most people only dream of: he found a career he loved that provided a generous and reliable income.
Although Tommy began his bartending career behind the stick in New York’s busy bars and nightclubs, over the years he has held virtually every position in the restaurant business from head bartender to general manager, staff trainer as well as an international hospitality consultant. His status as Master Trainer for the TAM alcohol awareness program (a distinction which only three individuals in the entire world hold) merely confirms his remarkable credentials and passion for this industry.
Bartending, with its considerable income and flexibility, has provided Tommy with many opportunities, more job offers than he could possibly accept, but, most importantly, fond memories. While many of them are good, some bad, and others just downright ugly three experiences in particular stand out as highlights against the rest:
The first takes place in the town of Vernazza on the Italian Riviera. It is a historic little fishing village turned tourist destination that hangs off the cliffs of the La Spezia region. Initially he arrived with the intent of improving his poor-at-best language skills, however, shortly after befriending the town’s sole bar-owner he found himself mixing drinks and training staff every weekend at a bar that overlooked the Mediterranean Sea.
His second highlight was a tour though the Caribbean islands. Unlike Italy, this was no vacation. S.T.E.P. (a government organization designed to promote tourism in Central America) contracted Tommy (based on the reputation of the school) to develop, arrange, and coordinate a training program for the staff of the many hotels, bars, resorts, and nightclubs that dot the islands and coastlines of the Caribbean. He was so successful in his efforts training local staff to cater to the needs of the wealthy tourists that the Commonwealth of Dominica (an island nation tucked between Guadeloupe and Martinique) hosted a two week hospitality seminar utilizing Tommy’s leadership and unique curriculum.
Tommy’s career has taken him from Canada to South America as far east as Europe and everywhere in between; nevertheless, the third highlight of his career is still ongoing: leading one of the finest training programs and the most successful job placement assistance program of any bartending school in the country. To this day, he can still say he truly loves his job
Getting started in the service business at 15 as a busboy, over the past 15 years Brian has worked as a server, line cook, host, bar back and predominantly as a full-time bartender. He’s bartended from Ocean City, MD to San Francisco, CA. From top tier restaurants to Irish pubs to dueling piano clubs. His background in Education – Secondary English BA and TESOL Certificate – creates a more comfortable student centered classroom. With energy and experience to spare, Brian is waiting to share all of his tricks of the trade with you.
You should check out reviews that mention Brian. Former students really love his classes and he enjoys teaching them. You can find some of those current reviews on Google or Yelp. If you want to get a feel for how real, fun, and informational Brian’s classes arrange to visit. Or, you can read this review on Yelp about a brewpub in Leesburg with a great review written on 6/27/2014. The review was worth 5 stars, the bartender earned a great tip….and the little trick came right out of Brian’s class. He teaches grads how to make money.
Our “glittering jewel” of an instructor–JEWELS KENNEDY –has garnered over 15 years of invaluable experience in the Food and Beverage industry. Jewels’ effervescent spirit has graced wide ranging positions: Server to Assistant General Manager to the Corporate Trainer of Hooters!
Jewel”s daring and delectable cocktail concoctions have been heralded at some of the trendiest haunts and hotspots in the DC area.
A decade of direct bartending has endowed Jewels with the uncanny ability to approach every class with delightful dexterity, vivacious verve, sparkling eloquence and unparalleled wit and humor.
“EXCITING” is much too quiet a word to describe a class with Jewels. There’s awesome music and way too much shaking going on, and an amazing mosaic of students who project a stunning sense of sociability. In the middle of it all is Jewels; curiously charismatic, both passionate and patient with a personable dynamic that transforms the most timid of students into brazen bar masters. Very chill with a splash of splendor…Jewels is a magnetic fireball who will simply melt your heart.
Kat is a 2011 graduate of the Professional Bartending School and immediately worked as bar manager at an upscale restaurant/lounge in Northern Virginia. After her 4-month stint at the lounge, Kat decided to become a private bartender to a growing list of clientele in NoVA. She loves the flexibility working as a private bartender so she can balance her work with her personal commitments. She enoys her weekend job as Saturday manager at PBS and enjoys meeting customers and helping students at the school!
Kat says that her training she received at PBS really helped her appreciate the passion that bartenders bring to their work. “Bartenders are more than just there to ‘pour and serve’ your drink. Ask any one of our graduates to come up with a signature drink, and we will create something absolutely out of this world for you!” She added that PBS graduates learn more than just memorizing recipes. She says everyone bring their personal talents and passion to the bar. Kat added, “The school teaches us a winning combination of mixology skills and world-class service at its best.” Kat started her early professional career in fashion modeling and television. She now has over 13 years of combined professional experience in customer service, public relations, strategic communications, special events marketing, and training/classroom facilitation. But her real career is mom to two teenage sons. Of all the drinks in the world, Kat enjoys a “Double Black on the rocks” the most.
Jenee, another graduate of the school is our most versatile employee working in admissions, subbing for placement and instruction….and she has performed all three jobs admirably following a good bit of training and practice. Following graduation from PBS Jenee bartended at the Spirit of Washington, Pho Bar and Grill and has bartended and continues to bartend at private parties and events.
Jenee went to college for Business Management and Accounting. Prior to joining PBS she had over 15 years experience in business and direct customer service. Those terrific and enthusiastic customer service skills are especially evident in speaking with and meeting prospective students. Within days of graduating PBS she made back 80% of her tuition in her very first party arranged through our placement office. She then multiplied back that investment many times over working more parties and events and getting regular bartending gigs. Jenee is simply a huge delight to anyone who meets and works with her.
Heather is our Placement Director and a grad of our program. For as many years as our school has focused on placement assistance and helping graduates land bartending jobs, Heather has set new records for volumes of grads landing bartending work and numbers of different bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, and employers that hire our grads. She is terrific working with both grads and employers throughout the region. You will want to meet and work with Heather. She can help you.
Heather has years of direct customer relations experience, hospitality experience, hotel, restaurant, and sports bar experience and more recently bartending experience. That extensive work history translates to skills that enable her to better assist grads land bartending work. She understands hospitality. In fact she regularly networks with staff from one of the largest industry employers in the region. She has keen insights into not only where the jobs are, but the skills and attitudes that enable bartenders to get ahead and land the best shifts.
Here is one more element to Heather’s extraordinary skills and the record volume of bartending jobs that our grads land. Heather speaks, emails and communicates with graduates and employers every day. It’s an ongoing daily process that occurs all day long. She is good at it and she works at it. Recently a long time employer who has hired grads over the years visited the school. We have visited his establishment. One question and one unique response caught our attention. We asked who else has contacted him about available bartenders that he could access for employment. His answer –> Nobody.
Nobody else does what Heather does. She does it well. Come and visit her.