By Pat Sherman
Photos by Brevin Blach
Erika Rose poured her first drink six years ago, when a fellow member of the swim team at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, offered her a job at the bar he managed.
"He's like, 'Erika, I need a female bartender and I need to find somebody that I can stand to be around for more than an hour. I can teach you how to bartend if you promise not to annoy me.' I'm like, 'Deal!'"
The plan went swimmingly. These days, the un-annoying drink slinger can be found behind the bar at P.B. Shore Club, located on the boardwalk at Grand Avenue. One of her shifts is Wednesday nights, during the venue's popular goldfish races.
To "compete" in goldfish races, patrons blow bubbles through drinking straws to propel goldfish through tubes of water and across the finish line. The competitive swimming, if not the goldfish in a glass, must rekindle Rose's memories of college.
Well acclimated to So-Cal life, the native Minnesotan tries to makes all of her customers feel at home.
"We've all moved here from somewhere," she says.
Catch the race action Wednesdays at Shore Club or meet Rose Friday and Saturday nights, when she tends bar at Fluxx nightclub in the Gaslamp.