Dan Hinote is no stranger to waiting tables.
Twelve years ago, before he ever laced up the skates to play hockey, the Blues forward spent a summer working as a waiter at Perkins Restaurant in his hometown of Elk River, Minnesota. The experience he received that summer helped him manage a busy night delivering food and drinks to delighted fans at J. Buck’s Restaurant in Clayton.
Hinote served as a waiter for the team’s third Celebrity Waiter Night. His teammates acted as hosts, waiters and bartenders for the event, which raised money to benefit the Fourteen Fund and gave fans a chance to meet their favorite Blues players.
Hinote said he felt right at home.
“I was on fire last night. [I] didn’t miss an order,” he said. “I was all over it.”
|Blues forward Radek Dvorak pours a drink for a customer at J. Buck's Restaurant in Clayton. |
His customers would likely agree. In fact, Hinote went above and beyond the call of duty when he found himself underneath a table helping a group of kids build a fort.
“Sometimes you go to a charity function and you really don’t get to meet the people, but last night was a perfect example of actually getting to hang out and getting to know some people,” Hinote said. “It was awesome.”
Tickets for the event were $125 and included an appetizer, salad, entrée and a dessert served by a Blues waiter. Beer, wine and soda were included. For fans, the experience was more than memorable.
Linda Hofeditz had dinner with her family and was served by Blues’ forward Lee Stempniak. Hofeditz said that on a scale of 1-10, the second-year Blues winger scored a perfect 10 with her family.
“Lee was great,” she said. “We plan to do this again.”
How did Stempniak rate his performance?
“I’d have to say an eight or nine,” he said. “On the politeness and courtesy side, [I scored] really high, but maybe not with etiquette, [like] where to put the knives and the spoons and how to pour drinks.”
Pouring drinks was no problem for defenseman Jamie Rivers. He spent the majority of the night behind the bar filling requests from customers.
first Waiter Night: 159 kb
grading his performance as a bartender (scale of 1-10): 85 kb
grading his performance as a waiter (scale of 1-10): 193 kb
“Now I know what [bartenders] are going through,” Rivers said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a career move anytime soon, but I respect a lot what these guys do back here. It’s not real easy.”
The event, which included live and silent auctions of signed Blues pucks, jerseys and aprons, raised more than $30,000 for the Fourteen Fund.
“It’s a great event for us. The players love doing it,” Stempniak said. “I have a lot of fun just talking to people, getting to know the fans and what they enjoy. Just to know the people in St. Louis is a lot of fun.”