Doing my Job

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March 15, 2004 // UPDATED 9:51 am - April 25, 2007
By: Tom Carothers
Tom Carothers

Frederick "Good Times" Manton; Host, Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall

His full name is Frederick Manton, but to his friends, it's simply Freddy. He's the host extraordinaire of Brit's Pub and has charmed patrons and matrons ever since the establishment opened in 1990. A drummer by trade, whose skills have appeared in such classic movies as "Gypsy" and "The Manchurian Candidate," Freddy has traveled the world for years before bringing his Cockney accent and infectious laughter to Minneapolis to make those at our little slice of England feel welcome.

You are known to many as "Good Times." Where do you get your reputation?

I don't know. Someone did say to me last week, "You're the Hugh Hefner of Minneapolis!" (Laughs.) That broke me all up. But "Good Times?" Well, you need the good times. Especially when you get on in years like me and don't have that much time left, you've got to make them good.

How old are you?

75. Give or take a decade.

Most people don't know that you have been in a lot of movies. What was that like?

I was in about 10 movies total; lots of old Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Frank Sinatra films. Yeah, enjoyed that. In "The Manchurian Candidate," the movie opens with a real jazzy scene with me on the drums. Well it's not my drumming, I just look as if I'm drumming, it's actually someone else's music, but they have to have a drummer do the scenes so they look like they know what they are doing, to look as if they are playing.

It's a long way from London and Hollywood to here. How did you end up in Minneapolis?

It was there when I got out of the car!

Okay, I'll rephrase that. What brought you here?

Ever since my friend, Nigel Childress called me up in California and said "Freddy, that pub we've been talking about for two years is going to open in three months. I want you to come on up and get involved." That was 14 years ago. I didn't really want to come up here, since it was so cold, but I've never regretted one moment of it.

You do seem to be very popular with the ladies. What's your secret?

Being old. When you're this old, you get away with murder. And I'm cheeky, too. (Laughs) I'm a saucy bugger. But I've always adored the ladies, and I've always gone out of my way to speak to them and make them feel good. Being old and decrepit are some points that really help, though. I can take some liberties that others couldn't.

Most people think you are the owner, why is that?

Oh, I get so sick of that, too. I work Wednesday through Sunday nights, and people always compliment the bar and talk to me like I own it. I ask them, why would I be working on a Saturday night if I owned it? (Laughs.) I'd be in Tahiti with a beautiful woman!