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SWEET SUMMER FUN WITH BO BORTNER by brad hart After four years of serving up some of the finest “Liquid Sweets

and Tasty Treats” at Babycakes Hillcrest, owners Rafael Del Rio and Christopher Stavros recently embarked on a new concept for Babycakes, creating a casual cafe located in Balboa Park at the Balboa Tennis Club. Their hugely popular, standout event still takes place at the Hillcrest location, it’s called “Church” on Sundays and one of our favorite “sweets” there is bartender Bo Bortner. We spoke to him recently about the popularity of the it’s-more-than-cupcakery and its “newest baby.”

Hi Bo, so how long have you been bartending? I was 21 when I first started bartending. It was at a bar in Palm Springs and I have

bar tended on and off ever since. It’s one of those skills you really don’t lose once it’s in you. What do you enjoy about it? I think what I enjoy most about it, is it’s such a quick personal connection with people. I mean where else can you meet someone’s needs and make them happy in less than three minutes? What are some of your favorite things about working at Babycakes? I gotta say the sweets of course! All the wonderful baked goods are amazing—

the truth is the owners and staff make the place. I really enjoy working with my coworkers, they are good people and most of us hang out outside of work now too. When can we find you there? I tend bar every Friday night and Sunday afternoon starting at 2 p.m.

Tell us about some of the popular events at Babycakes. Well obviously I love “Church” on Sundays. It’s always a great vibe with great people. I get to see lots of my friends and I have to say, I think it’s a pretty attrac- tive crowd—there is nothing wrong with that. Babycakes is a really unique place though. We have business mixers, bridal showers and lots of birthdays! It’s also become a pretty big date place. Monday through Saturday there is always some- one meeting here for the first time, or couples keeping their relationship fresh. Are there any big events coming up? Heck yeah, CityFest on August 12! Babycakes is the HEART of CityFest—100,000 people outside our door. It’s our party of the year and is always the talk of the town. Music, sunshine, cupcakes and cocktails... you can’t beat that! You never know what Chris might do; DJ, swimming pool, who knows what this year will bring! Babycakes received a new “addition” recently. What can you tell us about the new Babycakes Balboa Park location? We just opened Babycakes Balboa Park at the Balboa Tennis Club, offering lunch

in the park. We are drawing people in from North Park and all the active people at Morley Field. We do offer cupcake options and hope to offer dinner and weekend brunch in the future—it is going exceptionally well!

So when you’re not busy behind the bar, what are some of your favorite things to do in your free time? Real Estate is my career, bartending is one of the things I do in my free time

and I love it! I also like physical challenges, the gym is great, but we are blessed here in San Diego to have Mud Runs, MCRD Challenges and some awesome hiking. I also think it’s important to find a couple causes you believe in and give back. Two of my favorites are delivering meals for Mama’s Kitchen. For me it’s every Wednesday for the last 12 year, and building homes in TJ. I have done that for the last 12 years as well. If you could only use three words to describe yourself, which would they be? Explorational, Solid, Dorky.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you. I officiate weddings and I wanted to be a paleontologist—I’m not sure if that

makes me well-rounded or more like some Rorschach inkblot. What do you most enjoy about your life today? Change! I used to hate it but I have learned to love it. There is always some-

thing or someone new in my life to explore and learn about. It’s like a meal where every bite has a different flavor. It just keeps getting more depth and better all the time. What about your relationship status? I am single and open to mingle.

Lastly, a question we like to ask all our featured bartenders: If you were a cocktail, which would you be...and why? This is a tough one, this month anyway I would probably be a Summer Sauce; Blueberry Vodka, Vanilla Vodka and Pineapple juice. It’s fruity and light and tastes good, LOL. But to really represent me you would need a shot of bourbon with it, cause I have a little bite too.

Babycakes Hillcrest is located at 3766 5th Avenue. For more information call 619.296.4173 or visit Babycakes Balboa Park is located at 2221 Morley Field Drive and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 619.220.4990.


RAGE monthly | AUGUST 2012

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