Friends With Benefits: Anja Englisch
You want an authentic experience? Like, really authentic? Head to Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas; once inside, head straight to the bar and you’ll find bartender Anja Englisch. “People love that I’m German,” she says. “When I start talking in German—they love it.”
While the authentic music, food and beer all flow freely inside this replica of a German beer hall, the real attraction is Englisch. “A lot of people know me and come back to visit. They remember me, or the spider tattoo on my boob,” she says, laughing. “I’m on a lot of people’s phones.” Meaning she takes a lot of pictures. And Englisch loves every minute of interacting with her guests, she says.
But when she first started at Hofbräuhaus eight years ago, it was a little different. She had just moved to Las Vegas from Germany with her husband. Her first job at the beer hall was in the gift shop, and she didn’t speak a lick of English. “When I came over (to the U.S.) I could not understand or read a word of English,” she recalls. “People would help me and explain words to me. Now I talk a lot. Now I’m a social butterfly!” Eventually she moved out of the gift shop and began serving, and for the last two years she’s been behind the bar.
Another love of Englisch’s is the food, especially the crispy pork shank. “It’s very authentic. It’s my favorite.” So, food, drink and fun—who wouldn’t want the experience without having to fly all the way to Germany? “The food, you won’t get this food anywhere else—imported sauerkraut, pretzels. The bands are from Germany, Austria. We have stein-holding contests, beer-chugging contests. And here I am, greeting you at the bar. It’s kind of hard to miss me anyways.” (She’s 6 foot 3!)