Mixologist: Heidi Gray of Traditions Tavern

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Neighborhood: Northwest Side

Hometown: Hilliard

Years behind the bar: 12

What do you like about bartending?

I like people. I enjoy the parade of characters that come in here, for sure. Everyone is unique.

What would you be doing if you weren't bartending?

It would probably be something in sales. I'm good at it, I've done it before. It would have to be something outside of an office, for sure.

Tell me about the crowd at Traditions.

It's a neighborhood pub - a very friendly group of people. We have very local customers, and everyone seems to get along really well. We always welcome new customers.

What does it take to be a good bartender?

People come in for different reasons. You don't have to get involved, but you do need to be able to read people. Some people come in looking for a good time, some people come in looking to drown their sorrows. So you have to be a chameleon.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?

I'm a summer person, for sure. I enjoy being outside - kayaking or being anywhere around water.

I also love baseball. I'm a big Reds fan. We always try to make opening day special here. We have stadium food - hot dogs, popcorn. I made up a shot last year, the Marge Shot, that I think I'll have on special this year. A lot of people take off work to come in here for opening day.

So this is a big sports bar.

We're definitely a sports-themed bar. They love their sports here. We'll tailgate and grill out for games. Some of the regulars started their own fantasy leagues here. It's a big deal, very serious business.

What do you drink?

Lately it's been wine. Chardonnay is what I've been going with. It's just easier, lighter. It's healthier than shots and things like that.

Where do you go to get a drink?

I go to Classics at Tuttle. It's a nice, friendly atmosphere with great prices at happy hour.

What are people drinking here?

Our biggest seller is definitely Jagermeister. We sell a lot of shots. This is definitely a shot bar, but we also have great specials on draft beer.

Is there a Columbus bartender you'd like to meet in Mixologist? E-mail jtigges@columbusalive.com