Recipes for success

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A chef is to food as a bartender is to drinks.

Makes sense, right?

"The chef's in the kitchen creating food - I like to create drinks," said Jason Roberts, who bartends at Boston's The Gourmet Pizza. "I think it's kind of like a chef on the front-of-the-house side."

Roberts worked at Boston's in Marysville, the only other location in Ohio, for a few months before moving to the Arena District restaurant when it opened in mid-July.

The post is a flashback to his college days, when he first started bartending as an OSU student. Somewhere down the road, Roberts would like to open his own bar to showcase all the specialty drinks he's invented along the way.

What's Boston's like?

We get a good happy-hour crowd. The place gets jam-packed for the games, and we also get a good crowd for the Sunday NFL Ticket as well as all day Saturdays for the college football games. We usually get good crowds in before and after the concerts that happen at the LC, or anything over here at Nationwide.

Is there a typical crowd?

It really depends on the group of people who's going to an event. But when there's not an event, I'd say it's a sports-fan crowd. And during our happy hour, we get a lot of businesspeople coming in.

What do they like to drink?

We sell a lot of the Great Lakes Christmas ales, a lot of Stella and Sam Adams.

What do you like to drink?

I'm usually a beer and vodka kind of guy - not together. I like Great Lakes Burning River and I'll usually do a couple shots of Absolut.

What do you enjoy most about bartending?

I like creating drinks. In the course of bartending, I've probably created a couple hundred. A couple hundred might be a little bit of an exaggeration - maybe 50 to 100. I've got lists all over the place of just kind of throwing flavors together and seeing what fits.

Where do you like to get drinks?

I live off of Bethel Road, so I like going to Gallo's. I like going to the BW3 on Bethel, Winking Lizard, Upper Arlington Pub.

What else do you enjoy doing?

I volunteer at the animal shelter walking dogs there. I'm really into sports - I played volleyball over the summer, I usually play soccer in the springtime. I used to throw darts pretty competitively. Actually, my team won the Midwest championship awhile ago in Kentucky.

Power Play martini

Jason Roberts' signature drink

1 1/4 oz. grape vodka

1/2 oz. watermelon schnapps

Splash of soda water

Boston's The Gourmet Pizza

191 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District


Web: bostonsgourmet.com