Building creative concoctions for guests behind the speakeasy-style bar at The Light of Seven Matchsticks brings PJ Ford joy.

The Merion Village resident takes pride in surprising folks in his role as cocktail director. We asked him about his favorite haunts around town.

Dive Bar: “I love Dick's Den. My coworkers and I head over there for any occasion.”

Cocktail Bar: The Bottle Shop. “I just get down with their vibe. I like the crowd and the patio. They have great drinks.”

Special Occasion: “Veritas is the nexus of the universe when it comes to food. I took my first bite of their Brussels sprouts and it brought on memories of studding limes with cloves with my mom as a child.”

Carryout: Northstar Café. “I probably have it three times a week. I'm a creature of habit.”

Dessert: Wolf's Ridge Brewing. “Their dessert is like a playground for your mouth, with varying textures and flavors.”

Guilty Pleasure: Cazuela's Grill. “It's cheap, and at prime hours the patio looks like an ant hill of drunk and hungry Campus kids.”