GREAT FALLS — City Bar employee Ron Ray earns high praise from customers and peers
The Montana Tavern Association recently selected the City Bar's Ron Ray as their Worker of the Year.
Many of Ray’s regulars turned up to City Bar on Thursday night to celebrate his success.
When Ron Ray started bartending 30 years ago, he had no idea he’d one day become a City Bar staple: “I had really never even thought about it to tell you the truth. So it was really a nice surprise,” Ray said.
To win this beacon of bartending, the experienced employee first had to be nominated. After working together for the entirety of Ray’s career, the decision was easy for City Bar owner Brad Watson.
"My dad and I hired him in 1989. He’s a very reliable employee, very good employee...Ron’s just a good steady bartender. He’s been here all these years. I’m lucky to have him,” Watson said.
After Watson sent in the nomination, MTA selected Ray out of numerous candidates.
“People like me. I’m good with customers...You have to be able to talk to people and give advice. You have to have good rapport with people,” Ray said.
In his three decades of tending bar and serving people, he’s set the bar for quality service high, earning accolades like, “My favorite bartender ever” and “Without a doubt the best bartender in town!”
Ray hopes his award-winning service is part of what keeps City Bar a citywide staple: “I would like to think so. I have pretty good following, I think,”
Ray’s work has become a second home and his coworkers an extension of his family.
“It is all one big family. We watch out for each other...I really am looking forward to the next 20 years if I can have Ron that long,” Watson said.
Ron can be seen keeping the drinks and good conversation flowing Fridays through Tuesdays from 6 pm to 2 am.