NewsSoutheast Valley NewsChandler News


Valley mixologist remembered one year after deadly wrong-way crash

Bobby Kramer.png
Posted at 10:01 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 00:30:45-05

CHANDLER, AZ — Thursday will mark one year since the passing of a beloved Valley bartender who was killed in a wrong-way crash. The mixologist hasn't been forgotten by those who work alongside him, and his family is advocating for safer roads since his death.

Inside The Woodshed in Tempe, at the corner of Mill Avenue and Baseline Road, at the very end of the bar, a photo of Bobby Kramer sits under the transparent resin.

Kramer was a father, a husband, and a Navy Veteran but he's best known in the Valley as a mixologist with a special knack to take what's in his cup to fill the cup of others.

Brandon Casey of the Woodshed describes his late friend and co-worker as, "just completely selfless."

Casey and Kramer worked together with the Phoenix Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. During the pandemic's initial lockdown, Casey said Bobby, organized a huge food drive for anyone in need of groceries and a fund for bartenders who were without cash.

"It ended up being 12.5 metric tons that we just gave out to anyone who needed it," said Casey.

Thursday, February 10, marks the one-year anniversary of Kramer's death.

He was hit head-on along I-10 near Ray Road by a wrong-way driver.

The driver, Hannah Dike, was charged with reckless manslaughter. After weeks in the hospital, court paperwork showed Dike's Blood Alcohol Content was three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

She's due back in court in May.

"There's a personal responsibility to not have another drink when you get into the car to take an Uber home. This is the perfect example of what can happen when you don't," said Alexander Phillips who also worked alongside Kramer.

According to a public records request obtained by ABC15, Kramer's family filed a claim against the Arizona Department of Transportation in August of 2021. The surviving family is seeking $50 million in damages saying the state failed to design the highway, provide signage and update safety standards to prevent wrong-way drivers.

"Her choice took away Bobby's choice to get home to his family," said Casey.

Casey says he carries on Kramer's legacy by keeping a smile on his face while working, being grateful for his surroundings, and basically looking at life as a glass that's half full - not half empty.

Casey's reminder of that hangs framed in the bar - the grocery list of what Kramer gave away to every family for that early pandemic food drive.

"He was the best version of any of us," said Casey.