Shift Drinks is a new weekly column on WhatsUpNewp that hopes to highlight local hospitality professionals around town. With so many unique, talented and passionate individuals working in the service industry, this series aims to introduce some new faces, feature some familiar ones and give you an insight into their lives outside the workplace. In case you missed our first interviewee, here it is – Shift Drinks: Justine King, The Mooring.
Our second interviewee for this segment is one of the most humble and hardworking individuals in the business. Trying to get him to send me a photo to use for his feature was like pulling teeth, so I improvised!
Matt Plumb is the Manager of Brick Alley Pub and is the co-founder of both Jennie-Kay Beauty and ROMA Neighborhood Farms. Plumb has served on the Board of Directors for Discover Newport since 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors of the Newport County YMCA since 2012. Plumb was named the Rhode Island Hospitality Association’s Education Ambassador of the Year in 2013.
Brick Alley Pub has been a local staple in the Newport community for over 30 years, Brick Alley Pub is one of the most recognized and respected establishments in the city. Son of owner Ralph and Pat Plumb, Matt’s responsibilities in the family restaurant started when he was a young boy. When he’s not working, Matt is a family man and enjoys spending time at his home in Portsmouth with his wife, Jennie-Kay Plumb, his two sons, Benson and Patton, and his dog Guy.
I first met Matt a few years back while enjoying lunch at the Brick. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know him and now call him a friend. Something I learned about Matt is that he likes to stay out of the spotlight and I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed to be featured on Shift Drinks!
Matt is the type of manager who passes any accolades he receives on to his staff. He never takes credit for the restaurant’s success, instead respectfully deferring all praise to his colleagues. Whether he’s building relationships with distributors, working with the culinary team or planning the next beer dinner, Matt’s always happy to shake your hand and share a conversation. The few times I see him outside the restaurant, I make it a priority to get the man a well-deserved beer.
The overwhelming sense of comradery and the type of family atmosphere found at Brick Alley stems from the top down, which is why the staff boasts a collective tenure that rivals any establishment in the state. I’m very happy to introduce Mr. Matt Plumb to the column!
Manager Brick Alley Pub
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. When I finally grow up it will be time to retire
The best thing you ever drank?
The worst thing you ever drank?
Favorite bar in town?
Brick Alley, notwithstanding, Norey’s.
Favorite bar out of town?
The Purple Pig Chicago, IL
If you had to listen to one album on loop for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wu-Tang Clan, 36 Chambers
What’s the weirdest hobby you have had or currently have?
Inline Skate racing
Ideal Newport meal. (Combination of restaurants around town)Favorite App, Entree, Dessert, Drink?
Appetizer would be the Brick Alley Nachos, entree would have to be the Beef wellington at White Horse, a cold beer at Newport Storm, and moose tracks ice cream in a fresh waffle cone at Schultzy’s!
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Preferred hangover regime?
Shut it down before it gets to that point
The last book you read or recommend?
Mastering The Rockefeller Habits- Verne Harnish
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
My wife and Kids. We both work a lot so I really appreciate the times we all get to sit down together.
Biggest pet-peeve while working?
Place you’d like to visit the most?
Nashville or New Orleans just to eat a bunch of times.
Yellow Gatorade and Cheez-It’s
What’s your spirit animal?
What the F@$K is a spirit animal?
What’re you most afraid of?
If you owned a boat, what would you name it?
“I should be at work”
If you could change one thing about Newport, what would it be?
We need a parking garage
Weirdest request you’ve ever been asked while working?
Online “influencers” looking for free stuff
If you had one superpower what would it be?
I would love to fly
What do you know now that you wish you’d known ten years ago?
I still don’t know much.
Brick Alley Pub is located at 140 Thames Street in Newport and online at www.brickalley.com.
Tyler Bernadyn is a local hospitality professional, bartending at Midtown Oyster Bar Wednesday through Sunday nights on the Burgee Bar and at Caleb&Broad on Monday nights for their award-winning $10 entree dinner special.
Tyler is a graduate of Providence College and a true Rhode Islander, born and bred.
Email him at TylerBernadyn@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram at @tylerbernadyn.