Straight shooter

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A good bartender caters to the crowd.

Brittany Eisel might not know how to make a martini or an old-fashioned, but since being thrown behind the bar at Gaswerks four years ago with no experience, she's learned to make what the Arena District crowd likes - and fast.

"I never had a whole lot of training," said Eisel, now an Ohio State grad who also works at Abercrombie & Fitch. "It's more like, somebody orders it, and you look at the person next to you: 'What's in this?'"

And at Gaswerks, if orders aren't for beers, they're usually limited to shots or maybe something as complicated as a Long Island, she said.

What's the appeal of this bar?

It's just a big, open space. I think it's kind of nice. It still gets kind of crowded, but it's a lot of room for a lot of people, so you can see a lot of different people in here. And we have cheap drinks - they're probably the cheapest drinks on this whole block. We have our dollar bombs - you can't really beat those.

What crowd do you get in here?

In general, it's kind of a ... young-professional crowd, just graduated college. But we still get lots of college kids in here. I think it's pretty mixed.

Is it much different from the other Arena District bars?

I think we all draw kind of a similar crowd. We don't have a cover and [many of] those bars do, so that helps.

Have you seen anything funny happen here?

My favorite, I think, is toward the end of the night when people are really drunk, and they're dancing by themselves in the corner. I love to watch that.

What do you enjoy about being a bartender?

You meet a lot of people. When I was looking for a job, I would meet people who were like, "Oh, really? I work here, I think there's an opening."

Or you run into people you haven't seen in forever. I'll be working, and I'll see somebody I knew in high school and haven't seen for the past five years because they're visiting in Columbus.

What don't you like about bartending?

It's so frustrating when people are yelling at you, like, "I was here first, I was here first!" You're sweating and you're running, and you're like, "There's nothing I can do about it. I'm sorry." People expect a lot from you.

What do you like to drink?

Citrus vodka and water, with lemons.