Our newest barback, Lisa Shriver, is no stranger to the service industry, having been a chef her entire life.
“Lisa brings a great deal of hospitality experience to the Tasting Room as well as a great deal of Cape May experience,” says Tasting Room Manager Chris Costello. “As a chef, Lisa was looking to educate herself more on the craft beer industry as a whole, and what better way to do then working with the best craft beer around?”
“Being a chef was all I’d ever done,” she says.
She’d owned The Depot in Cape May for several years, which gave her the chance to explore her creativity with local ingredients.
“I loved that,” she says. “I loved that people would bring me fresh produce and we could make great stuff from it, salads and soups. I had a guy bring me a drumfish once — a big, huge fish. He brought it to me, and I broke it down, and it was great.”
Now, she’s a chef at Harpoons on the Bay, making the best cheesy grits known to man, according to our Social Media and Graphic Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg.
“Her cheesy grits are the bomb!” Courtney says. “They’re so good!”
But, since Harpoons closes up shop from November to April, Lisa needed something to do with her time.
“I was laying in bed until one o’clock every day, watching videos,” she says. “I thought, ‘There’s gotta be more than this.’”
She was looking to learn more about the craft beer business to add to her culinary knowledge. So, now, she’s working behind the bar.
Yet, now, “more than this” involves taking piano lessons.
Her son had been playing since he was five and has plans to go to music school. Lisa, on the other hand, took lessons when she was younger.
“It comes back to you,” she says. “But he’s sitting there playing Chopin and I’m playing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’.”
But her four children are what makes her happy.
“When my children are happy, I’m happy,” she says. “My kids are awesome.”
In addition to her four children, Lisa has four birds: two cockateils and two parakeets. Her children gave her the parakeets two years ago for Christmas.
“They’re really friendly and funny,” she says. “They have a lot of personality, it’s really kind of funny. But, when the guy came to fix the furnace, one of them swooped on his head. He didn’t like that; it’s not for everybody. But they’re really cute and they’re really funny. They have cute personalities.
“I love the way they sound. They’re very peaceful.”
Lisa is the sister-in-law of our Private Events Coordinator Kathy Forler — their husbands are brothers. The whole family traveled to Ireland last year to meet Lisa’s son’s fiancee and her family.
But Ireland was in a class by itself.
“It was beautiful,” Lisa says. “The people were really lovely. They were the nicest people. The Cliffs of Moher were beautiful. We woke up one morning in County Clare and there were sheep all over the front yard. It was a fun trip.”
If you’re familiar with Kathy, you’re probably aware of her love for sports, the Eagles in particular. Lisa shares her love.
“We just went to the Flyers game two weeks ago,” she says. “And the family’s big Eagles fans, so we always celebrate with lots of food and beer.”
As do many of our transplants, Lisa loves Cape May.
“I love that everyone knows everyone,” she says. “Well, my husband knows everybody and I don’t know anybody. But, I like that you can go to the Acme in September and run into five or six people. I like that feeling.”
Having worked in the restaurant industry for so long, Lisa sees a camaraderie between the small businesses in Cape May.
“I like supporting the small businesses,” she says. “Everyone’s very supportive of each other. Restaurants can borrow things from each other. I can go visit other restaurants or coffee shops and they can come into mine. I like that.”
And Lisa is loving her time here.
“The people are all really, really nice,” she says. “That’s one thing I’m really struck with. Everyone’s really friendly. When I’m working in a kitchen, I don’t need to be friendly. But, behind that bar, you have to be friendly. And everyone here makes that easy.”
While Lisa has a wealth of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, it’s her first time working behind a bar.
“It’s the only aspect of the restaurant world I’ve never experienced,” she says. “So, it’s interesting to me. It’s interesting to learn about craft beer.”
Lisa admits that she’s only had a limited exposure to craft beer, but it hasn’t taken her long to catch on and discover what she likes.
“She’s already loving White Caps,” Kathy jokes. “She’s only been here a month, but she’s learning what’s good!”
Lisa pointed to White Caps and New Year’s Resolution as being her favorites.
“New Year’s Resolution is very crisp,” she says. “I like that. And White Caps, I just like. It’s full-bodied but drinkable.”
Lisa’s been working quite a bit in the Tasting Room, so odds are that you’ll run into her. Be sure to say hello when you do!