@work: The CC Club is Moe's tavern

TODD NELSON | Updated 8/17/2012

CC Club owner Lester "Moe" Emard taps the secrets of bartending success.

Moe Emard

He was tending bar before you were born. Maybe before your parents were born.

And CC Club owner Lester "Moe" Emard, who turns 77 this month (July), has learned more than a few tricks of the trade since he began bartending in 1956.

Good bartending, he says, is a mix of mechanics, alertness and cool: You've got to pour drinks, keep an eye on the entire bar (even as a few customers pour out their problems to you) and stay cool.

The reward? "If you take care of your people, you're going to get more tips," says Emard, who over the years has served rock bands, celebrities and an ever-present cast of young hipsters.

Emard bought the CC Club in 1985 and is marking 25 years of ownership with a July 17 deck party, with grilled brats and hot dogs and, of course, tap beer.

The bar, founded in 1934, was an already venerable landmark when he began patronizing it as a "young lad." "It was known all over the five-state area," Emard says.

Business was hurting when Emard took over, until punk rockers saved the day. He welcomed them, telling regulars who had given them a hard time to back off. Soon the CC Club was booming, and a little-known local band called the Replacements started hanging out.

Emard's wife, Sharon, joined him at the bar about a decade ago, redoing the kitchen and the menu, which now features homemade soups, biscuits and gravy from scratch and other breakfast items, popular on weekends.

Three and out with CC Club owner, Moe Emard

  • Beside the Replacements, who are some of the rock bands and celebrities who have been here?

Soul Asylum. That all-girl band (Babes in Toyland). Tom Arnold. Daryl Hannah. Woody Harrelson. Josh Harnett comes in. He's got friends that come in the place and he likes coming here.

  • What is the hipster drink of choice these days?

Jägerbombs. Jägermeister and Red Bull. Cherry bombs: Cherry vodka with Jäger.

  • How has the CC Club kept going all these years?

People like living in this area. It's close to Uptown, it's close to downtown. And all these young people. For every person that moves out, three move in.