Kasi Klapakis, a bartender at Tavern at the Beach, and Scott Ennis, a bartender at The Local Pacific Beach, met at The Local PB and now are engaged to married. (Hayne Palmour IV/Union-Tribune)Finding a fling at a Pacific Beach bar isn’t exactly unheard of, but when two neighborhood bartenders stumble upon true love at a local venue, it’s definitely cause for celebration. Just ask Tavern at the Beach’s Kasi Klapakis and The Local Pacific Beach’s Scott Ennis. After first laying eyes on each other in 2014, these hospitality heroes hit it off and are now wading through the depths of wedding planning.
PACIFIC: How did you two meet?
SCOTT: It was at The Local on a Tuesday, maybe a Wednesday, three years ago in September. I was working, and she came in with a friend. I was very attracted to her smile and her eyes. She came in a few other times the first couple of months after opening. I like to say she was stalking me, but she probably wasn’t.
KASI: We met two and a half years ago at the Local in PB. I was out with a couple of my girlfriends for dinner, and he was our bartender. His service could have been a little better.
What first attracted you to your spouse-to-be?
SCOTT: She has this energy about her that is just very, very contagious. When she smiles, it lights up a room. That’s honestly how I felt when I first saw her, and I hadn’t ever had that happen before.
KASI: That toosh is hard to miss, but there is this kindness in his eyes I saw when we first met that night.
What did you do for your first date?
SCOTT: Probably something casual at Bub’s. We’re very into the wings.
KASI: Technically, our first date was at Dirty Birds. We definitely share a passionate love for wings.
How did the proposal go?
SCOTT: It was the day after our first anniversary, on Labor Day weekend. We went to Windansea (Beach), and I took her off on one of the little finger rocks with the ring in my pocket. I had this whole thing planned in my head, and then I got out there, and it just melted. I still have no idea what I said. I remember being down on one knee and giving her the ring. What was really funny was that it was Labor Day weekend, and I didn’t think about that. The beach was packed. She said yes, and everybody cheered. Then I had her parents and my mom walk down and surprise her. That was a really cool moment.
KASI: It was amazing. I had no idea what was happening, but his brother was with us and was in such a rush to get to the beach. I just kept thinking, “Why are they in such a rush? The beach will still be there when we get there.”
What’s your role in planning the wedding?
SCOTT: Saying “yes.” I think I’ve stepped it up a bit lately, because Kasi has a day job and doesn’t have as much time as I do. So I’ve been sending out the emails and setting up the hotels, rehearsals, photographers and stuff like that.
KASI: We don’t have a planner, so it’s a good thing I have a background in events. Scott’s been such a great help and wanting to make this as stress-less as possible for me. Definitely a team effort.
What’s the best thing about being in a relationship with a bartender?
SCOTT: We’re paid to put on a show, and some people who aren’t in the industry don’t understand that. They don’t understand that I’m supposed to flirt, that I have to flirt. The nice thing is that we can be comfortable when the other person comes in, because they know what we’re doing. They know we’re not just talking to that pack of girls or pack of guys because we want to. It’s our job. That, mixed with the hours, and it’s been nice.
KASI: We both understand a bartender’s life - the late hours, how the way you interact with patrons determines the tips, et cetera. We understand how it is, which makes our relationship stronger. We have the utmost trust in each other.
Are there downsides?
SCOTT: You drink a lot. There’s always something. With the two of us, I’m getting text messages to go out, and she’s getting text messages to go, too. So, if we both don’t go, it’s like sh*t, we’re assholes. They’re all fun events, but sometimes you just want a break.
KASI: The late hours and when we have conflicting schedules. It makes it more difficult to spend more time together.
Who’s the better bartender?
SCOTT: Oh, me. Guaranteed.
KASI: I think we can both agree who the better bartender is.
Does your betrothed have any bar skills you admire?
SCOTT: She’s incredible at multitasking. She’ll be muddling six Old Fashioneds, then turn right around and slam out a couple vodka Red Bulls, then pour some beers.
KASI: He has this amazing ability to shed pieces of clothing as the night progresses. It must get warm working so hard.
If your fiancé/fiancée were a drink, what would it be?
SCOTT: She’d be a double, extra dirty vodka martini - shaken, and with blue cheese-stuffed olives.
KASI: He’d be a shot of Jameson and a water, because he loves to live life and have fun, but he is very smart and always tells people, especially me, to hydrate.
The Ennis-Klapakis wedding is set for September in San Marcos. According to Kasi, “It will be one for the books.”
The Local Pacific Beach
Address: 809 Thomas Ave., Pacific Beach
Tavern at the Beach
Address: 1200 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach