Flipping for good times at Carlos’n Charlie’s
By Kiko Miyasato
When Gonzalo “Coco” Garcia first started bartending, suffice it to say that he didn’t know a lot. “Seriously, someone would ask me for a rum and coke, and I would be like ‘What is that?’” Garcia said. It has been many years since his days as a 17-year-old novice in his home country of Argentina. But, during those years, Garcia has accomplished a lot in the realm of bartending—and now serves as head bartender at Carlos’n Charlie’s at the Flamingo.
Garcia moved to U.S. in 1999, and it’s been a nonstop bartending roller-coaster ride ever since. He’s worked all around the country, but always had his sights set on Las Vegas. Garcia is one of Las Vegas’ well-known flair bartenders, having worked at different properties before settling at Carlos’n Charlie’s. “Flair is entertainment, and Vegas is known for entertainment so it works perfect here,” said Garcia, who practiced flair from the moment he became a bartender. As head bartender, he’s trained all Carlos’n Charlie’s staff, as well as bartenders around the city and country—he’s even done his fair share of competitions. “I cannot work without flair!” he said.
As for the restaurant where he now practices his craft: “It gets insane (here). Servers are doing synchronized dances, someone is making balloon hats, bartenders are flipping bottles. … It’s always a party here,” he said. “The employees at Carlos’n Charlie’s are having fun, me included, and we want you to have fun with us.”
The drinks are just as fun as the times you’ll have when you visit Carlos’n Charlie’s. Sunset in Las Vegas is sweet—a drink that tastes so good, you can’t taste the alcohol, so beware! If you can handle it, though, order it in the 32-ounce green goblet. Or throw caution and sobriety to the wind (or get a friend to share) when you order the behemoth 100-ounce Bazooka, which you can fill with beer or margaritas. It’s basically a tower of alcohol with a spigot on the end!