Hectic hot spot

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Tending bar isn't a job for the lazy.

Christian Brady is just the opposite.

He moved to Columbus less than six months ago, but Brady already has three jobs -- including bartending at After Five. He's also gotten into the spoken-word poetry scene, and the University of Cincinnati grad is thinking about continuing his education.

The Brewery District bar, which was opened about a year ago by former Ohio State running back Michael Wiley, is even busier. After Five has established itself as a jazz spot that also draws crowds for game-watching, Obama rallies and VIP parties going on inside, outside and upstairs -- sometimes all at once.

"I think anywhere I work from here on will be a little bit easier, because there's just a lot going on here," Brady said. "But it's a good thing."

What do you like about bartending? Bartending is fun because you get to interact with so many different people. I'm really good at handling the girls because the girl bartenders usually handle the guys. So I like making drinks for women, like martinis and all that.

Is there anything you don't like about it? Here, it gets really hectic during certain periods of time, when there's just people on top of people. The cool thing is, it makes the night go a lot faster. But the cleanup is horrendous. And I'm a big guy, so you know I carry the garbage and get the heavy stuff and do all the stocking. That's the worst part.

What can you tell me about the bar and the atmosphere? Thursdays and Fridays are jazz nights, generally. We have a great jazz crowd. They're a little bit older, and then the later the night progresses, they kind of move out and we get a bit of a younger crowd, the hip-hop scene.

It's an upscale, urban spot, so it's real diverse -- all different racial backgrounds, all different economic types, and everybody comes in and has a lovely time.

What do people like to drink here? A mix between draft beers and, for ladies, it's absolutely Grey Goose and cranberry.

You're working three jobs and thinking about taking classes. Is this a career or a money-maker for you? It's a side job, but by watching how to run an establishment, it gives me a passion for owning an establishment in the future. So [with] a business background in school, which is what I went to school for at UC, owning a restaurant is something that I definitely want to broach in the future. And the bartending aspect is always a good thing.