I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked in a variety of bartending situations over the span of my career.

For example, my first gig was at my cousin’s pizza place. From there, I worked in music clubs, fine dining restaurants, private parties held at top executives’ homes, and many more. I’ve bartended at concerts, dive bars, memorials, weddings, fundraisers … I could go on. What I’ve learned is that while in some ways, each and every bartending situation was exactly the same, but in other ways, they couldn’t have been more different.

We asked bartenders to give us a little insight into what makes their situation unique when we asked the question “what kind of bartender are you?”

“I’d say my style of bartending has evolved with each bar,” said Michelle FitzGerald of The Cliff Dwellers, a private social club in the heart of downtown Chicago, where she’s also the bar manager. Michelle has been tending bar since she was far younger than she should have been (but weren’t we all?).

“I miss my days in a high-volume bar—those nights when you finish a killer shift with your team. What I’m doing now is rewarding in a different way. Working [here] gives me the opportunity to be a matchmaker bartender. I’m the one person in the club everyone knows, and I’m constantly introducing members to each other.”
– Michelle FitzGerald of The Cliff Dwellers

Michelle FitzGerald, behind the bar

Michelle FitzGerald

She adds that because she’s become so familiar with members and their tastes, she’s able to suggest several varieties of wine, beer, and spirits.

Stay tuned for more answers to the question “what kind of bartender are you?”

If you are a bartender and want to share your story, feel free to email Chilled magazine marketing manager, Max Ferro: Max@ChilledMagazine.com.

Sponsored by San Antonio Cocktail Conference. Save the Date: January, 2019.