Topshelf Bartenders Becomes A Part Of Onondaga Community Collegeas Curriculum

Topshelf BartendersTopshelf Bartenders celebrated their one year anniversary of business this past January.  In a tough economy, are people spending the extra money to learn a new profession?  The answer is yes.  Topshelf Bartenders is turning out some of the best bartenders Central New York has seen in a long time. 

Now the big question is…  Are the graduates getting jobs?  Owner Jeffrey Rogers replies, “With several graduating classes now through, I can honestly say the school is proving itself well beyond any words I can say.  The Turning Stone Casino and Destiny have been the students/schools largest employers”.  Rogers has developed quite a relationship with the Turning Stone, Destiny, The Oncenter and 45 other establishments that are on his referral list.  Most recently Topshelf has added “Guest Bartending” to the program.  There are three restaurants/bars which have volunteered their establishment to allow the students a shot behind the bar before they start handing out their resume and graduation certificate.  Rogers’ comments on the guest bartending program stating, “You can’t teach the feeling of being behind a live working bar.  It’s a rush and a sensation that you have to experience.  It’s a passion.  That passion is the true meaning of bartending”.

So what’s next for Topshelf Bartenders?  How about OCC now offering a bartending class hosted by Topshelf Bartenders.  Rogers’ comments, “Expanding our school not only in the sense of locations, but also by means of curriculum.  We have finalized the details involved in working with OCC (Onondaga Community College) to incorporate Topshelf Bartenders into their incredible culinary program.  Beginning March 4, 2014 students at OCC will have a new class as an option…  A 40 hour bartending class directed by Topshelf Bartenders”.  OCC will be carving a path for colleges statewide as it will be the ONLY college in NYS to offer an actual bartending class. 

When asked what makes his program so different from others, Rogers’ has a very simple response, “When every single one of my students graduate, I feel confident that they can go behind any bar and professionally bartend.  They are trained behind a real bar.  They are trained on P.O.S.  I teach them to recognize the stages of intoxication so they can avoid conflict during their shift.  The only thing I can’t teach them is passion.  They will learn passion once they start working the sticks and bottles behind the bar.  It will come once they receive their first compliment from a guest, or at the end of a shift when they are exhausted with barely enough energy to count their tips.  But trust me, it will come.  I see it in their excitement to learn every time they come to this class”.

Students can enroll online or if they would like more information regarding the school simply go to the school website at and click on the school catalog.


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