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HomeFoodFormer local bartender shares cocktails, stories in new book

Former local bartender shares cocktails, stories in new book

abass@northstarreporter.com

Paul M Markis, the former bartender for the Table at 10 restaurant in North Attleborough, has been mixing drinks and cocktails for over 40 years.

Now, he wants to share his recipes and the associated stories in his new book, “The Cocktail Keeper: Recipes and Stories.”

The book, published by Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, features recipes for alcoholic beverages for people interested in learning about mixology with corresponding stories by Markis that detail his first instances of making each drink throughout his career.

Markis said the book’s reviews have been positive so far and more than 100 copies have been sold online and in-person.

“There are so many great stories,” Markis said. “I wrote the book to be very simple so that readers can have a good time.”

The stories in the book go as far back as the 1980s when Markis began bartending at age 16. He was inspired by the movie “Cocktail,” featuring Tom Cruise, who played Brian Flanagan, a cocky bartender who works hard to have his own bar.

“Ever since that movie I became inspired,” Markis said. “I started working at a bar in East Boston at this neighborhood grill where everyone had their own names like Butchy and Fizz. No one used their own names.”

Markis’ favorite story is when he worked at the local grille in East Boston and learned how to make a three-martini lunch. Markis said that frequent customers would often order martinis and every evening, he would come home smelling of smoke.

While his parents were displeased over his profession, Markis fell in love with bartending. He would continue working as a bartender in a part-time capacity. He would work at several nightclubs and even the famous Cheers in downtown Boston.

“No matter what job I had, I would still find time for bartending,” Markis said. “I would work as a teacher, as a public relations specialist, and I was still mixing drinks.”

In 2001, Markis worked as a real estate agent and bought a property on N. Washington Street in North Attleborough. That property was then abandoned, refurbished, and turned into a restaurant, Table at 10. What made Table at 10 different from most restaurants, according to Markis, was that the menu kept changing, having different drinks and menu items each day.

The variety was a smash hit among customers and Markis was in charge of the bar at the restaurant and would continue to acquire new drink recipes and stories from patrons and employees alike.

“Opening Table at 10 was something I really wanted to do,” Markis said. “Back then, you did not have a real revitalization of the downtown area, so we were some of the first to really go and renovate places.”

In 2018, Markis and his business partners acquired the closed Cafe Portobello and reopened it as Stella Osteria. In 2021, Chef Santo Vilorio Ramos and his wife Maria bought both restaurants and renamed them Vilorio’s Italian Bistro and Vilorio’s Bar and Bistro.

Markis now lives in Winthrop, and he is still bartending. He said he wouldn’t have it any other way. As for his favorite drink, Markis considers the Maple Walnut Old Fashioned to be the masterpiece of his many mixed creations.

“Yeah, I’m still bartending,” Markis chuckled. “I’m still keeping up with the trends and I’m keeping it simple.”

For more information, visit this site.

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