Business Profile: Melanie Hutzler of Salvador Dobbs

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How many years have you been slinging drinks?
25 years with a few years off, to see if I was any good at other industries.

What got you into this industry?
My first job was at Angelo’s Italian restaurant in Leon springs. I was a 14-year-old dishwasher and salad prep. I moved up to cook and as soon as I turned 18, I became a waitress. The cash earned everyday is what kept me bartending as a young single mom.

What keeps you at your job?
I have been at DOBBS for four years and still love my job. I found a unicorn. The owner, Veronica Brown, makes my job super easy. My co-workers keep me sane. The guests that come into DOBBS are fascinating, kind, generous and a lot of them are like family to me now.

What’s something people don’t understand about your job?
Where do I start?
If I’m not smiling, it is because I’m focused. I just served Joe Blow and his crew 2 Bud Lights, 3 Vegas bombs and an Old Fashioned. Now, I gotta ring that up. I also have to ring up Jane Doe for her Lemon Drop, a Cucumber Martini and Topo Chico. I am making your drinks and I have taken 2 other orders while shaking your Margarita. I’m happy, I promise. If you then tell me I should smile, I lose all my happiness and my focus.

What’s something that people would find surprising about your job?
People are usually surprised that bartenders only make $2.13 an hour. Our paychecks are for ZERO dollars as our hourly pay doesn’t cover the taxes on our tips.

What’s been the hardest part about your job?
Cleaning up after the party. Men who missed the urinal, women who have toilet paper fights in the bathroom. The worst was a spilled spit cup.

Do you REALLY act like a therapist to a lot of people?
Yes. Yes. And more YES. I have been on the bathroom floor with a woman who is going through a divorce. I have hugged men who watched their best friend die. I have listened to stories of abuse, neglect, violence, war, and death. I have watched people fall in love, get married, travel, and have babies. I was even IN a wedding. I meet Veterans suffering with PTSD, first responders trying to forget about their day, teachers at the end of their rope, college kids visiting their parents (I’ll call their parents too, if they act like fools!) I get to be a part of birthdays and memorials, engagements and divorce, promotions and loss of jobs, and everything in between. Everyone has struggles and victories. Everyone has a story that is beautiful and to get to be a part of so many stories is a privilege.

What makes your bar so special to you?
The guests. The Boerne people! The Boerne community was so supportive during COVID. So many “regulars” have become family to me. We are there to take care of each other. It is also rare to find a bar owner who is so easy to work for. DOBBS is my UNICORN BAR.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I will be happy, healthy and still having more fun than you!

Your favorite misconception about your job?
People think that I’m drinking along with them. I quit drinking over a year ago. They also think that because we close at midnight, that I go to bed at midnight and should be awake at 8am. If you call me before 11am, you better be dying.