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Cannons blasting for this Crown & Anchor bartender July 19, 2011 3:00 AM by Mark Mayer

When you come across a bartender with a Hooters background who is a former Playboy model, there is a journalistic need to uncover more.

Tastefully, of course.

"I remember modeling a T-shirt that said, "the biggest cannons on the river," said Angela Cancaste in describing her time working at a restaurant in Lake Havasu, Ariz. "I was one of the Pirate girls and (comedian) Jay Leno bought my shirt out of the 10 he chose from."

That was about a year ago. Now, Cancaste tends bar four days a week at Crown & Anchor’s Spring Mountain and Decatur site when not doing her other job as a licensed cosmetologist.

"I can cut hair in both Arizona and Nevada, but I really enjoy bartending," she said. "I was brought into our Spring Mountain site because it is more of a gaming crowd, which I am more familiar with. Our other Crown & Anchor on East Trop is more about football and soccer."

Cancaste spends a lot of her free time playing video poker and has definite opinions on which pays better and hits more – those machines in casinos or the ones in local taverns.

"I find it’s the local bars by far," she said. "Here we’ve had five or six royals in the first 12 days of the month. I’ve been in Vegas off and on for the last 10½ years and find it very enjoyable working a bar with video poker machines. I could never hit anything in casinos and just stopped playing there."

Lake Havasu didn’t have any video poker machines, nor were there any other Hooters or Playboy girls employed in the resort’s restaurant.

"I did a thing for the Hooters calendar and was employed in the Las Vegas resort for 3½ years," The work I did for Hugh Hefner was just modeling and not in the magazine. The last modeling I did was various promos about a year ago."

Obviously Angela’s physical qualities draw many first timers back to her bar for repeat visits, but it’s her personality and general acceptance as a female bartender, usually a male-dominated profession, that stands out.

"I create a Cheers type of atmosphere in all the bars and restaurants I worked before and now," Cancaste said. "In my bar, they come in for one beer and leave a whole keg later. My regulars end up staying and we just kick it back. We have fun."

In the interest of investigative reporting, since many males will no doubt wonder, Angela is single. You will have to take it from there.

"I can talk a good game, whether it’s about gaming or sports," she said. "That’s why my customers have a good time and keep coming back. A lot of my friends are married and bring their wives. And it doesn’t hurt to have machines that pay often."

Cha-ching.

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