The Glo Room Shines Thanks to Saucy Bartender Kay
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]
Taylor Hamby Kay behind the bar at the Glo Room
"If this drink makes me throw up or gives me a hangover, I'm never coming back," a young woman said to our bartender.
"Shut up and take it," the bartender snapped back.
That's Kay, the blond spitfire who runs busy nights at the infamous Glo Room in Anaheim by herself--with precision and a low tolerance for bullshit. She's petite, even in her high-wedge shoes, with a Carol Brady haircut that's bleached on top and has patches of black underneath. She told me she does her own hair--apparently in her past life, she owned a beauty salon.
But that was 30 years ago, and she's been here at the Glo Room ever since. "I been here so long, I serve the grandpa, the son and now the grandson," she said. "The grandsons hit on me, and I tell them, 'Your grandpa hit on me. Your dad hit on me. I don't fuck them. What make you think I fuck you?'"
"You don't look old enough to have been working here 30 years," I volunteered.
"I'm 64--I turn 65 this year!" she said.
"No, I don't believe you. Let me see your ID," I said, jokingly referring to when she gave me shit earlier in the evening while checking my ID, saying I look too young to be drinking. She assured me she really is in her '60s and has sons in their 30s and 40s. "I can't even speak English, but my son--he has master's degree."
While many bartenders act outwardly unfazed by drunken shenanigans, Kay will openly stare with visible contempt at any boozy tomfoolery. "What the fuck," she'll say, dead serious. "I work here 30 fucking years. Sometimes, I just don't even know anymore." In this case she was referring to the rowdy young men twerking one another near the dart boards.
While we talked, two heavy-set men sat next to me--one wearing a Dodgers shirt, the other a red polo (don't go downtown HB chick fight on us!). A large stack of cash sat in front of them; since the bar's cash-only, I didn't think much of it at the time.