Happiest Happy-hour Bartenders

These five local mixologists are keeping it real at happy hour with humor, warmth—and a mean drink.
A.J. Rathbun  |   April 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Seattle’s friendliest ’tenders, from left: Jonathan Hudak, Bryn Lumsden, Adam Fortuna, Veronika Groth and Andrew Friedman (see full image below). Photographed February 17, 2012, at Jules Maes Saloon in Georgetown

Bryn Lumsden
Rob Roy, Belltown
With a calm manner that isn’t shaken (even if a group of 15 shows up suddenly), and a literary charm that extends to everyone and anyone sitting at the bar, Lumsden is unflappably friendly even while making a passel of the snazziest and firmest fizzes in town. He’s as classic a bartender as the classically minded drinks he serves. Try: the wonderful sloe gin fizz or any other fizz. 

Veronika Groth
Chino’s, Central Capitol Hill

From the moment you take a seat on an unpretentious plywood barstool, Veronika Groth makes you feel you’re a part of her sociable community. Whether strolling you through one of her latest inventive rum-based creations or just sharing stories about bars gone by, she always treats you kindly. Try: the rotating seasonal take on the mai tai, which is sure to include rum and other delicious ingredients.
[Editor's note: After this story went to press, Veronika Groth left Chino's. She is currently tending bar at Artusi.]
 

Andrew Friedman
Liberty, North Capitol Hill

A rarity in that he’s both bar owner and bartender, Friedman has never met a customer he didn’t want to talk with—whether about themselves, his beautiful barrel-aged cocktails or the whiskies behind the bar. It’s plain that he doesn’t just want your business, he wants you to feel a part of the neighborhood. Try: The Good Dog, a cocktail that’s aged in oak and includes Woodinville Whiskey’s White Dog unaged whiskey, chamomile-infused grappa liqueur, lemon bitters and lemon juice. 

Adam Fortuna and Jonathan Hudak
Artusi, Central Capitol Hill

It’s fitting that Artusi’s hexagonal white-marble-topped bar is in a U shape, surrounding bartenders Adam Fortuna and Jonathan Hudak and their host of Italian-inspired cocktail ingredients; that makes it easier for these genial fellows to interact with customers, telling tasty stories and bringing a calm good-naturedness to the bar. Try: the grappa sour, which mingles Bertagnolli grappino, lime, salted muscovado syrup and angostura bitters.

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