Familiar Faces: Mom mixes tending bar with giving back to community

By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA- Behind the polished bar at El Dorado Saloon, thirsty patrons can often find Katie Kent. The bartender also serves as the co-manager for the taproom and restaurant at the corner of Green Valley Road and Francisco Drive in El Dorado Hills.

As manager, what are your responsibilities?

I’m responsible for the events and the marketing and the menu development.

What types of events do you have at the restaurant?

There’s live music five nights a week. It’s a broad range consisting of high energy dance music and some country. On Sunday afternoons we have live acoustic music on the patio. Once a month, we have live comedy at the saloon.

How long have you been working for El Dorado Saloon?

It will be three years in June. I stated working there just two weeks after they opened.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the opportunity to give back to the community. I put together the Dine & Donate fundraisers.

We give 20 percent of the sales for the day to the school or organization. I’m always looking for new charities or organizations to raise money for.

I like building relationships in the community. As far as the bartending side, I enjoy being able to give people the full experience of the saloon – great food and service. The biggest compliment is when people come back for more the next day. I also love getting to know my customers. I see babies growing up.

What were you doing earlier?

I was bartending at a country club and prior to that worked in a wine tasting room in El Dorado County.

What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you?

I’ve met all sorts of interesting people. I have people telling me the most personal things.

What are your three favorite places you’ve traveled to?

Traveling is a passion of mine. My grandparents were world travelers. Barcelona, Cabos San Lucas and Sedona, Ariz., are my favorite places to visit. I really want to go to Hawaii to hang out on the beach.

Other than the Dine & Donate fundraisers, do you give back to the community?

I’m putting together a golf tournament for Muscular Dystrophy to send a kid with MD to summer camp.

Additionally, I’m involved with Blue Star Moms. We send packages to troops overseas. Over the course of the last two years we raised over $2,000 through the tournaments and Dine & Donate events. My brother was in the Navy for five years. That’s why I sought out the care package program. My dad and I would send him care packages when he was deployed and I know how much it means to the guys overseas to receive something from home. The money we raised was for the actual cost of shipping. That’s the greatest need as its very expensive to ship overseas.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I have a passion for gourmet cooking. I love to develop recipes and try new foods. I love yoga. Reading is another thing I like to do. Historical fiction is my favorite genre.

Tell us about your family.

My boyfriend and I have six kids between the two of us. We look forward to our every other weekends alone. The kids range from 5 to 12.

What are you most proud of?

I’m just happy with where my life is now with regards to my job and my relationship. I’m proud to give back to a community in which I grew up in. I moved here when I was 9.

What causes are you passionate about?

My boyfriend and I are in the process of forming a non-profit to assist single parent families in the community. It will allow families to share resources and get financial help.

What is one thing about you people might be surprised to learn?

I went to fashion school. I was a manager of Structure (a line of men’s clothing) and Arden B (women’s clothing). After my first child was born, I began waitressing and that’s when I realized that I wanted to be in food and beverage industry. I grew up in the restaurant industry and began working in it when I was 14. My mother worked at the Cellar – which was in the same space as the saloon is now – in El Dorado Hills.