Life behind Bars

Conversations with KC's top bartenders

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Rikki Duncan, Nick and Jake's Overland Park

Years in the business?

20-plus; at Nick and Jake’s, about 13.


What’s special about Nick and Jake's?

You become part of the family. I’m not just a number, I’m actually Rikki. They take care of us as far as being there. We’re all family. We’re all friends. And it’s not just with the employees. It’s also with our guests. It’s a unique place.


Tell me about your regulars.

We see some people for lunch and dinner. Our regulars are creatures of habit. They like what they like, and it’s hard to change their minds. We usually know what they’d like to drink when they walk in the door. 


Do you have a signature drink?

One of our signature drinks is our mango martini. 


Where do you like to go have a drink?

You know what? I like to come here. It’s home, so it makes a difference.


When you have to cut someone off, how do you go about doing that?

It’s hard. I ask management first if they have my back because that’s very important. You have to say it in the nicest of ways, and they’ll try to argue with you for a while. But once you make that call, you have to stick to it. You can’t go back on it.


What’s a common misconception people have about service industry professionals?

That we’re not loyal as far as a dating situation, which is unfortunate.