Meet Matty

June 28, 2023

Written by Anthony Garzilli
Photos by Ritterbeck Photography

Matty Bussmann aims to treat all his customers like family. Bussmann, bartender at Street Meet American Tavern, has been making drinks and making people smile for 30 years.

Since he began bartending in 1993, Bussmann has ensured everybody has a good time and always feels welcome.

“That gives me a whole lot of enjoyment,” he said.

Bussmann, who started his career working at a “hockey bar” in St. Louis (owned by Blues legend Bernie Federko), has been on the island since 1996, when he arrived to help at his grandparents’ beach house for just six months. Instead, he never left.

“I’ve gotten to meet and know a lot of island regulars,” said Bussmann, whose first job on the island was at Skull Creek Boathouse. “My core group of friends today are some of the people I met my first four years working on the docks.”

Bussmann also hosts trivia night at Brother Shucker’s Bar and Grill. He meticulously prepares 60 questions for the Monday sessions. He’ll often have two different trivia books and numerous websites open to do his research on everything from film, TV, music, history, science and geography.

Bussmann enjoys keeping the entire crowd – young and old — engaged.

“I like to keep it moving, bouncing all over,” he said. “I’ll do a question about Scooby-Doo or who were the two grumpy old guys in the back of the theater in the Muppets, and then do a current events question. If you want to do good on my trivia, you need to have a team that’s got a whole lot of demographics going on, age-wise.”
He looks forward to crafting questions for the entire family.

“Seeing three or four generations all sitting around and having a really good time because I threw in some Disney questions so the grandkids can be involved, as well as what were the names of the beaches at Normandy so that grandpa feels like he’s involved too, that’s pretty fun,” he said.