One-woman show

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Annmarie Show is on every Thursday at O'Reilly's.

The storyline hasn't changed for 16 years, each week chronicling one woman's laughs and relaxation.

That doesn't mean Annmarie Stewart sits around when her patrons need service. This longtime O'Reilly's bartender is always on her toes, handling her Thursday shift solo as a chance to take a break from family and her full-time job.

"I'm an old-school bartender," Stewart explained, sitting on the patio before starting a recent Thursday shift. "All my bills have to go the same way in the drawer, I stick a lighter in my pocket so I can light people's cigarettes out here."

The Clintonville hangout matches her mood.

Tell us about the bar for people who haven't been here before.

I guess a lot of people liken it to Cheers. It's a friendly neighborhood place. Everybody pretty much knows everybody, and even people who come in for the first time and don't know somebody end up knowing somebody before the night's over. There's always a regular willing to make friends.

What's the regular drink?

Beer and shots, and even the shots are simple. Nobody gets too weird and fancy, nobody orders mojitos. Every now and again you get a request for a strawberry daiquiri, but our blender broke years ago, and we've never replaced it.

What would you recommend from the menu?

Probably the pepper burger, which is our biggest seller. The sweet potato fries, which are huge. Fish 'n' chips. Everything's good.

What do you enjoy about bartending?

I can't even tell you how long I've been doing Thursdays, but it's been a long time. It's the Annmarie Show. And I always park my truck in the same spot, so my customers know I'm here.

It's a social thing. I always laugh, because people go out and get drunk on Thursdays; I come here. This is my stress relief, this is my fun. I get to hang out with my friends, I get to talk. I don't have to worry about my kids, I don't have to worry about my husband or laundry.

What else do you like to do?

We're so busy - our kids play travel hockey, and they play travel baseball, so it's just nice for me to come here on Thursdays before my weekend starts because I can kind of relieve my stress.

O'Reilly's Pub

2822 N. High St., Clintonville 614-262-6343