TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Five days ago, a Valley mixologist named Bobby Kramer was killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 10 in Chandler. On Monday night, Kramer's friends mourned their loss while raising money to support his wife and young son.

"He meant a safe place where people could go," says Casey's Woodshed Bar owner Brandon Casey. "He meant a hug. He meant a great cocktail."

Friends remember Bobby Kramer

At the Golden Pineapple in Tempe, those in the bartending and restaurant industries honored their beloved Kramer the only way they knew how.

That's the thing about Kramer. He meant so many different things to so many different people.

"He was the best guy. He lit up the room every time he came in," says Chandler bartender Savannah Renaud. "He was one of the only people that put a smile on my face every single time I saw him."

So at the Golden Pineapple in Tempe, those in the bartending and restaurant industries honored their beloved Kramer the only way they knew how.

"He'd want us to take care of our community, take care of our friends, take care of our families, hug our loved ones," says Casey. "And sling some damned drinks."

Kramer left a lasting impact on pretty much anybody he met. And even on Monday night, his presence was felt through some of his favorite drinks.

"He had a couple," said Golden Pineapple bartender John Martin. "We definitely wanted to bring in the Cold Choke, which is a cynar and a cold brew."

"Definitely drinking a Negroni and taking a shot of Malort," says Renaud.

"It was the middle finger into the sky and a hug," says Casey. "And he also liked making daiquiri shots and Smirnoff Icing the rest of us."

All tips from the evening will be donated to Kramer's memorial fund, and the Golden Pineapple will then match that donation.

It's the least those in attendance could do for someone they considered not just a friend, but family.

Bobby Kramer photo

Kramer left a lasting impact on pretty much anybody he met.

"I wouldn't be doing what I do if it wasn't for Bobby," says Renaud. "So I'm just going to put passion into my work every single day."

"He was the best of us, he really was," says Casey. "Out of all the bartenders and degenerates that our hospitality industry is, he was one of the best of us."

 

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