Studying the details

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Chris Dillman

Home neighborhood: North Campus

Hometown: Columbus

Years behind the bar: 12 years

You got into bartending to pay your way through college, and stuck with it. What did you study at Ohio State?

Entomology. It was a fun degree, but I'm not an academic type by any stretch of the imagination.

You've been studying a lot to become a sommelier. Tell me about that.

I'm studying for the master sommelier exam right now. Since the last exam, I started a website for all the people who are doing what I'm doing - all the maps, notes and study tools I used are at

What makes a good bartender?

The biggest problem I see with bartenders overall is not knowing when to stop talking about themselves. To me, that's a real pet peeve.

What do you like to drink?

It always surprises people, but the vast amount of wine I drink is white wine, and preferably sparkling. Otherwise, I'm a pretty simple guy. I like cold gin in a glass, or beer - if I'm just off work, the crappier, the better.

What are your favorite places in Columbus?

We have winemakers that come through, and I always have them hit Jeni's just down the street. Restaurant-wise ... Alana's is a great place. And the best restaurant in the city - but you can only recommend it to people who are adventurous - is Kihachi on the Northwest Side.