Adri Torres, 31

Bartender at Woody’s at City Market

What brought you to Raleigh?

Long story short, a boy. I was planning on moving up here to be closer to him; I found out things weren’t working out, but I had already made plans, so I still came up here.

What’s a common misconception about bartending?

That it’s not a real job. A lot of people look down on servers or any kind of restaurant job, but with bartending, I feel like people interact more, [so bartenders] get the heat more than anybody else about getting a “real job,” and I’m using quotation marks because this is a real job. I honestly wish that they could do it for one day, just for them to see what it’s like on our side of things. It’s really, really demeaning when people say this is not a real job when I’m on my feet for eight-plus hours literally walking back and forth every single day. You’re picking up heavy stuff, refilling beers or grabbing kegs, taking food out to a table. It’s not an easy job, and we are paid to make it look like it’s easy. 

How have you seen Raleigh change in the 12 years you’ve lived here? 

Ten years ago, you wouldn’t wanna live downtown; now everyone wants to live downtown. I honestly love how much it’s grown in a positive way. I love how much it’s brought in from other places, which a greater variety of cultures and differences of opinions. We’re even bringing in Top Chef chefs; we have James Beard Award chefs living here and doing business here. It’s pretty incredible how much it’s grown.

What social issue is most important to you?

It was very personal when Donald Trump went to Puerto Rico and threw paper towels at the people; that was very personal. That was after Hurricane Maria. I feel like the general view from the U.S. public about Puerto Rico is a little annoying. That’s the best word I can use. It’s really frustrating and annoying that people don’t understand that the Puerto Rican flag is also the American flag, point-blank. My passport says “United States of America,” and I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Also for people who don’t get it, PR is in Central America, which is part of the Americas, so Mexicans are American, Colombians are American, Brazilians are American, Uruguayans are American, Chileans are American, Cubans are American, Canadians are American. We’re all America.  

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