'Tender Moments

By Ida Rosenberg / Photo by Kristina Yamamoto

In addition to his weekly bartending shifts at Bootlegger (East Village) and AD Nightclub (Gaslamp), Errol Asuncion still calls - and pours - the shots at Side Bar's famous Industry Night on Wednesdays.

When he was named PacificSD's Bartender of the Month in July 2010, Asuncion had recently helped launch the popular weekly gathering for the hospitality industry. Bartenders, servers, bottle service hosts, VIP managers, door guys, go-go girls and venue owners have regarded Side Bar as their Wednesday night home away from home ever since.

"On a weekly basis, I get to work with an amazing team and come up with new ways to entertain, celebrate and recognize the men and women who work their butts off to take care of their fellow humans," Asuncion says. "Whether serving your drinks, cooking your meals, cleaning your tables or even handing you a paper towel in the bathroom, these incredible individuals are sewn into the fabric of our daily lives. Seeing their faces when we get to take care of them has been such a reward for me."

A cofounder of the San Diego-based fashionslash- lifestyle brand Fortune 421 (fortune421. com), Asuncion now has his hands in a couple new projects: navigating first-time fatherhood and helping to launch Industry (jointheindustry.com), a new social/mobile/digital employment interchange for hospitality industry owners and employees.

"It's been a juggling act," he says.

With the goal of eliminating the need for paper resumes and "Help Wanted" signs while giving the hospitality industry a more efficient forum than Craigslist, Industry seeks to bring job providers and job seekers together into one virtual marketplace.

"Over the last few years, I've realized that the current hiring process is terribly inefficient," Asuncion says. "I get at least ten calls, texts or emails each day from people looking for a job and from businesses looking for qualified talent."

Bullish on the fledgling company's future, he says Industry can become the LinkedIn for the hospitality world. With the arrival of his newborn daughter, Lilyan Jade, he's never been more focused on realizing his professional aspirations.

"Fatherhood is the most motivating thing that has ever happened to me," he says. "Knowing that everything I do from this point forward affects this little nugget gives me no choice but to succeed."

Who's your daddy? In Lilyan Jade's case, it's a kind, service-minded guy with a big heart who's got his fingers on the pulse of San Diego's hospitality industry.

Meet Errol Asuncion Wednesdays at Side Bar, Fridays and Sundays at Bootlegger, and Saturdays at AD Nightclub.

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MAKING THE ROUNDS
Errol Asuncion calls out his fave nightlife spots of the moment

"I love AD. Why? Because this place is straight sexy!"

"Parq is another new spot I like. For a place that size, they did an amazing job."

"I'm a huge fan of Kettner Exchange. They have a gorgeous rooftop deck, and the food and service are incredible."

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