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Random Rochesterite: Dalton Shirley

One resident, numerous anecdotes

Dalton Shirley
Dalton Shirley is pictured Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Rochester, Minnesota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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Name: Dalton Shirley
Age: 26
Occupation: Bartender at The Tap House, and barista at Dunn Bros. Coffee
Where we found him: Dunn Bros. North

How long have you worked at Dunn Bros.? Ten years and counting. I started here when I was 16. It was my first job. I went to school at Century, and one of my classmates worked here and she told me to apply. [Owner] Dennis is great. I wouldn’t have worked for him for 10 years if he wasn’t. I bounce back and forth between working full time and not at all, just coming in when they need me. My full-time job is at Tap House.

How long have you worked at The Tap House? I just started in August. Before that, I was bartending at The Redwood Room. We have a small crew, and the camaraderie is great. The owners are fantastic, too. I love Natalie and Christine.

How many hours a week do you work? Last summer, I was full-time at Dunn Bros. and full-time at The Tap House and that was a lot. But now I’m on call here at Dunn Bros., so I’ll work 55 hours this week with the two shifts I picked up.

What’s your favorite Dunn Bros. drink? Cold press, just black. Not too crazy.


Favorite teacher at Century? Miss Ryan for English. I could give her a hard time and she didn’t care.

Earliest memory? My dad travels for work, and we were living in a house over by the Edison building. He came home from a work trip and we went to the park at Edison and played there. I have other early memories of being down in Wabasha. My family has had a camper there for 23 years, and we’ve spent a lot of summers there, on the Mississippi. I learned how to ride a bike there. At 14 you’re able to get your boater’s license, and we had this jet ski and I’d bring my friends down and go around.

And feel pretty cool. Exactly.

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Best first date? Man, I don’t know. One of my first-ever dates was going to The Lost Cajun, remember that place? It was where Domino’s South is now. I actually just went on a first date last night to the Redwood Room. It was good. They have the chicken Milanese back on the menu, my favorite.

Who was your date? I met her here, at Dunn Bros.

Will there be a second date? Yeah. We’ve been hanging out for a while; it was just our first official date.

How would you describe yourself? I’m laid back, easygoing, but I like to find the funny. I look more for humor in life than anything. I like to stay in shape. I run to the gym and back when I work out to get my cardio in.

Best concert? I went to Soundset up in the Cities when I was 19. It’s an all-day thing at Canterbury. It was so many different artists in one day—Prof, an underground rapper from the Cities, Snoop Dogg, G-eazy, Atmosphere. It was outside and raining, but the music was so good that it didn’t matter.


Best sports moment? I was at the Minneapolis Miracle game for the Vikings.

I should probably know what that is … It’s one of the highlights of my young life. We were playing the Saints to go to the NFC championship game. 2017-2018 season. We were down by 23-20. People were leaving the stadium because we were losing, and then we scored on the last second. It was Stefon Diggs, Case Keenum. Keenum threw a pass to the sidelines, and Diggs went into a 61- yard touchdown for the game. It was the most crazy atmosphere I’ve been in. It was chills, all around. It was crazy. If I watch it now, if I see a replay, I almost get the same chills. I went with my three best friends from high school, Beau, Andrew, and Joel, and my friend Andrew doesn’t want to go back to another game because you can’t beat that experience. I thought we were going to win the Super Bowl that year, but then we lost to the Eagles big time the next game.

What are you most scared of? I hate heights. I’m short, so maybe I just don’t want to be too far off the ground! I do go hiking, I don’t mind it. But once you get to the top and look over the edge? No.

What will you be doing in 10 years? I would like to own my own restaurant and bar. That’s what I hope to be doing. I don’t want it to be basic bar food—I want it to be more than that, and with craft cocktails. A good cocktail with fresh-squeezed juices, making your own simple syrup. The full nine yards.

Best advice you’ve been given? Live below your means. I’m trying to save money for my future endeavors. My apartment isn’t the nicest, but I don’t mind because I’m saving money.

Will you stay in Rochester? Yeah. I’ve never had any desire to leave. My family is here. It’s home. I used to think it was super boring when I was a kid, and when you’re growing up here, you want to get out of town. But Rochester is growing enough to get new experiences. West Circle Drive was nothing when I was growing up and now it’s full. Since I went to high school here, I know a lot of people that I grew up with, but you also get an opportunity to meet new people because the city is growing. It’s not the same old, same old.

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