It may be a surprise that Savannah’s Best Bartender has only been slinging drinks for about nine months. Rob Ring works full time as a Yard Manager at MarineMax. He decided to give bartending a try after seeing how much fun his friends were having working at Cheers to You.
Now, every Friday night at Island Sports Bar on Wilmington Island, you’ll find Ring behind the bar — standing over 6-feet tall, rocking a Hawaiian shirt and long salt and pepper hair, you can’t miss him.
Photo courtesy of Rob Ring
Ring doesn’t have fancy bar tricks or even a specialty cocktail menu. In fact, his favorite drink is a cold PBR or a simple Jameson and ginger. But Ring has mastered one thing that flash and flair can’t make up for: great service.
If he’s served you before, Ring has your go-to drink order on the bartop before you even sit down. If you decide to play cornhole across the bar or go outside for a smoke break, Ring keeps an eye on your drink and delivers a fresh one when it’s time.
“You’ll never come here and wait more than three minutes — ever,” Ring said. “I see you when you walk in, and I know what you want. Nobody wants to come to the bar and wait.”
Ring has proven that great service brings a crowd. Over the last nine months, Ring has transformed ISB into the hot spot to be on a Friday night.
“When he first started, I’d come sit up here and there would be like four people here,” Katie Kelly, Ring’s wife, said. “I would be bored and call it a night at 10. It just slowly got to be a more diverse crowd and got busier and busier, and now I close it down with him.”
Ring says he loves a lot of things about bartending at ISB, but the thing he loves the most is making people feel good and helping them have a good time.
“The whole point of coming to a bar is to relax and have a good time,” Ring said. “I like to take care of people; I like to see people happy — just happy.”
Kelly says she thinks Ring gains just as much from bartending as he gives.
“It’s just his vibe,” she said. “He’s become this island dude. He should’ve been doing this for a long time.”