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 jobâ€¦
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.
Kristen O’Connell may come from the small state of Rhode Island, but she has big time bartending experience. She has bartended at several different venues that include a sports bar, an Italian restaurant and banquet hall, a night club, cigar bar, and a casino. She was called a “bartainer” at her past casino job where not only would she mix an array of delicious cocktails, but she was also responsible for entertaining the crowd through song and dance. She is Barsmarts certified and was part of the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild) RI chapter. She has placed in several drink competitions winning cash, prizes, and prestige. She is our afternoon and evening instructor here at PBS. Kristen wants to get you into her class to teach you the skills you need to succeed in this thriving industry!! Cheers!
Brett Hollingsworth, a graduate from March ’08 worked at several different types of bars upon graduation, courtesy of PBS’s Job Placement Assistance. Some of the places he worked in include a popular lounge in DC, the ESPN Zone, Holiday Inn, a gentleman’s club and, most recently, the Bethesda Country Club, where he became the Bar Manager for their 2 bars, hiring and training a staff of 12 bartenders. When he’s not working at PBS, he’s taking on as many private parties (weddings, corp. parties, etc.) as possible. Here’s a link about him in the Washington Post Express.
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.
As a July 2012 graduate of Professional Bartending School, Kimberly has already made quite the impact in and around the local bartending scene. She is a weekend manager at PBS and has bartended in Dupont Circle, Shirlington, VA and as a bartender at private parties, banquets and corporate functions in Northern VA and the DC area. Kimberly held the position of head bartender for Luna Grill in Shirlington, last summer. Kimberly’s claim to fame is making 100+ drinks per hour in DuPont Circle—over 10 drinks every 5 minutes—which she credits to practicing every day before, during and after class, along with making lots and lots of index cards and studying daily with her friends.
Kimberly bartends on a part-time basis during the school year, while also maintaining her full-time teaching job. This kind of moonlighting gives Kimberly a little “adult” time, while also providing her with some extra funds to help cover luxuries now and then.
Kimberly continues to enjoy learning the flair of being behind the bar, especially with other bartenders who will teach her something new. Kimberly says that bartending has been a great way to keep her life interesting, fun and entertaining. When not behind the bar, Kimberly’s free time is filled with downhill skiing, volunteering, hanging out with family, cuddling and playing with her dog, training for triathlons, and hiking. Kimberly’s motto for both sides of the bar is quite simple: “Just do whatever it takes to get the job done right.”
A graduate of PBS and current instructor, Dimitri discovered his interest in bartending while conversing with a friend of his who manages clubs in DC. The club manager referred Dimitri to the Professional Bartending School where he studied hard and excelled in learning the art of bartending. Following graduation, he moved on to hone his craft at a variety of venues in DC. He eventually settled in at The Third Edition, having a blast with his fellow bartenders in concocting a wide variety of cocktails and entertaining crowds at one of Georgetown’s most popular and lively bars. Not only is Dimitri actively pursuing a double major in Engineering and Finance, he is also an adventurous outdoorsman who enjoys activities such as bouldering, canoeing, and skydiving.
Dimitri is yet another example of how our team of instructors showcases personality and fun behind the bar–and that add$ up, if you know what we mean.
Our full time job placement director is Fatima Paroo. Since taking over the all-important job placement position she has consistently assisted grads in landing over 100 bartending jobs every month. Its a testimony to her work, knowledge, experience, and skills. In the greater DC/VA/MD region Fatima helps more people land bartending jobs than all other sources combined.
Fatima is a grad of our school. Before that though she had tremendous hospitality and food and beverage experience. She started out at a fast paced restaurant and then moved to a position as event planner for the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida. She next took on a busier position at the Gaylord National here in the DMV. Fatima was responsible for hiring staff and vendors, coordinating endless ongoing events, and creating an environment for repeat business due to countless satisfied customers.
Fatima’s focus on results is evident in the more than 1,000 emails, calls, chats, texts, etc she engages in every month with numerous employers, managers, party hosts, and of course hundreds of recent and former grads. She has a terrific disposition and is a pleasure to work with.
Fatima’s motto is .”If people are drinking, people are happy.” With her outstanding results and the hundred plus grads that land new bartending jobs every month she has to be helping thousands of people in drinking and becoming happier.