I, Barbot.

Mike and Missy are the creators of barbots, robots that make tiki drinks. First they created the BAR-letta. Next came the MaiTaiMatic. Then there was the InEbri8.

My inner sci-fi kid was triggered by their work. Asimov must have created laws for just this situation, right? The Three Laws of Barbots?

1: A barbot may not injure a tiki drink or, through inaction, allow a tiki drink to come to harm;

2: A barbot must obey the drink orders given it by tiki masters except where such orders would conflict with the First Law or come from an iPhone;

3: A barbot must make drinks faster than any bartender as long as such speed does not conflict with the First or Second Law or include a garnish.

The BAR-letta, Missy and Mike’s first creation, had 30 gravity-fed, medical-grade pumps with a roulette wheel. It was dressed up like a juke-box when ready to mix. In its first competition, it made 300 drinks in a little over an hour. almost winning the Robotic Bartending Competition. It’s only downfall? It didn’t link to an iPhone. Next, the MaiTaiMatic made precision Mai Tai with five tubes and 8 slots for drinks. Mike claims it can out-pour any Vegas bartender (if you subtract the garnish). Last but not least, came the InEbri8, the nextgen version of the Bar-letta.

How did the barbots come to be? It was Mike’s Mom’s fault. Since Missy had gained a reputation for bartending speed and accuracy in the bay area prior to their move, she was making all the drinks at home. Mike’s Mom was having none of this. She suggested that the man of the house should be making the drinks. So, Mike, the engineer, took that challenge in a whole new direction. He built a robot to make drinks even faster. Missy, with her background in four-star food service, made sure that the robot’s components were food-grade materials, while Mike made sure the barbots worked efficiently and quickly. Thus, the rise of the machines.

Oh, and did I mention that Missy and Mike have an amazing tiki oasis as well?

The Caliche Cove is named for the bedrock underneath Las Vegas and the ancient sea that used to cover this area. Mike and Missy offer education a few months of room and board to Billy Crud, a local and nationally-known carver, to build the Cove and to teach Missy how to carve. The result is a stunning oasis in the Las Vegas desert. The open air home tiki bar sits in the Barletta’s back yard. There is a pool for “dive-in” movie nights, beautiful grounds for tiki-themed weddings, carved wooden stages for bands, carved shields along the garden walls for decor, and even wooden tiki posts completed with nautical ropes for crowd control when they have big gatherings. It’s evident, the Barlettas are known for their hospitality.

As I settled into the Caliche Cove and listened to their stories in the quickly fading sunset light, I wondered. Would I dream of electric sheep tonight?

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