Mike Potts of Philthy Phil's
If you find yourself at Philthy Phils for a karaoke Wednesday, a dance party Friday or even a soul Sunday, you'll probably find Mike Potts at the door, behind the bar or even fixing the water tank in the women's restroom -- he's the all-around fix-it guy, who lives in the bar.
photo by Claire Lawton
Actually, he lives with his wife, Laurel Potts (who manages, and has a Philthy Phil's tattoo) in the RV behind the bar, but really, they share outlets.
Mike's from Missouri and found himself in Phoenix after a longtime gig driving trucks around the country. He had been to Philthy Phils a few times before meeting Laurel, and it wasn't a year after they met that they were married and dedicated to their second home that happens to have a kick ass DJ line-up, selection of booze and pool table setup. Not a bad gig.
Mike joins us today to dish on the Phoenix dive bar on Sixteenth Street and Thomas Road that many people call home.
Why he's not a "Scottsdale Bouncer":
I don't get a rise out of beating people up. I don't squat like 500 pounds or do martial arts in my spare time. And I'm not planning on going home to jack off while watching Road House.
Read about Mike's last experience with a very drunk Craig Citizen and why he actually loves working with his wife after the jump ...
Worst part of the job:
Definitely the hours. I'll sleep all day if I can, but I still get knocks on my door from employees who need me to double check IDs or help out with some drama in the bar during the day. And while it's pretty safe here, we're definitely not Mill Avenue or Scottsdale -- I don't have scars on my arms for nothing. In fact, one of the regulars got angry because he didn't like the music a few weeks ago and pinned me up against the bar with a knife. Yeah, that's where this scar on my forearm came from.
Under the beltloop:
All I carry is a small flashlight to check IDs and go through people's bags. I also have a small knife, but I'm almost always using it to fix things around the bar rather than to throw someone down. It's all alcohol and egos. For the most part I can talk people out of whatever they're upset about.
What people should know about Philthy Phils:
We're the most laid back, anything goes kind of dive bar you'll find around here. And we have DJs every night. I even tell the DJs that they can play whatever they want. If they want to play polka all night and can bring in a crowd, it's fine by me.
Best part of the job:
The people that come in here are really like family, or like my wife, they are family. I know most of their names, and everyone takes care of the place. Like on any given Friday night, we have 50 to 60 kids smoking out here in the parking lot and it creates a blanket of white ashes. And when the night is done, one of our regulars will go outside and sweep the entire place and another one will fix up the audio equipment for the next gig.
Last crazy night:
I think it was Craig Citizen's birthday party ... there were a ton of people here and by the end of the night he had three-fourths of his clothes completely torn off. He was wrapped in a blanket and came in the back to talk to me. "I'm going to Vegas," he said. "I'll pick up my car on Sunday." It had to have been at least Wednesday before he stumbled back in.