The Houndstooth: Who’s Behind the Bar?

Meet one of the faces behind the bar at The Houndstooth.

By Anna Fogg
Dateline Alabama Producer

TUSCALOOSA — With history etched into its name, The Houndstooth, a sports bar that’s been around since 1988, continues to draw in the students and locals of Tuscaloosa. The Houndstooth was named the top college sports bar by Sports Illustrated, but the customers keep coming back for what makes the bar special, its staff.

Brad Roberson, manager and bartender at The Houndstooth, came to Tuscaloosa to go to college but he stayed in town for his job.

“This bar is ran a lot different than some of the bars I’ve worked at, it’s treated more like a business here, it’s not so much of a party,” Roberson said. “We just try to have a good time and try to promote a good time and just be very nice and friendly with people and try to create a nice adult environment to drink in.”

After working there for a little over three years, Roberson finds that although every day is different, the loyal customers remain the same.

“We really try to focus on customer service here and trying to be as nice and cool as possible,” Roberson said. “We have really good customers that we like a lot and it’s nice to be able to come to work and talk with people that you’re friends with and just hang out and you get paid to do it.”

Danny Shannahan, a bartender at The Houndstooth, has worked with Roberson for almost two years.

“Brad, of course, is my boss, he does an excellent job of managing. Our bar is pretty much a family. He’s a very shirt off the back kind of guy,” Shannahan. “Whether you’re working security or bartending, he’s got your back.”

After having worked almost 10 years for different bars in Tuscaloosa, Roberson isn’t surprised by some of the things that he has seen, although he admits that there is always something new to see.

Olivia Hodges, a bartender at The Houndstooth, has worked there for almost six years and shared something that never gets old.

“Whenever we have a fight or altercation, it’s always fun to watch Brad jump the bar because you don’t think he’s that nimble, and looking to see the faces that are like ‘Did you just see that 300 pound man jump that bar?’ because he’s just one arm down and he’s going over,” Hodges said. “If that doesn’t scare you out I don’t know what else does.”

Roberson is always quick to step in and help out a fellow friend or employee when something seems to be out of ordinary.

“He’s very on point with any kind of inappropriateness or anything like that,” Hodges said. “Once Brad’s there it’s over. Brad will shut it down.”

While the bad times keep Roberson on his toes, the good times are more frequent and enjoyable. Customers will continue to flock to The Houndstooth to hangout with friends, but they will stay for the people like Roberson who make them feel at home.

Manager and bartender Brad Roberson at The Houndstooth. Photo by Kassidy Abernathy

Manager and bartender Brad Roberson at The Houndstooth. Photo by Kassidy Abernathy