Best of Kent: Best Bartender

Savannah Freese, of Water Street Tavern, pours a beer on Friday, April 15, 2016.

Angelo Angel

First Place – Savannah Freese

When Savannah Freese, a senior french translation major and a bartender at Water Street Tavern, tried to describe her style of bartending, she said fun and bubbly.

“I love to have fun while I bartend and make sure that our costumers have fun too,” Freese said.

Since August 2013, Freese has been with Water Street Tavern, slowly becoming a favorite among bar-goers. Freese has a knack for guessing incoming customers’ drinks.

“We make an effort to remember our regulars. I know all of them and their preferred drinks,” Freese said, adding that it makes her job a lot more fun.

What makes her one of the favorites at Water Street is also her ability to goof around and have fun with fellow coworkers, specifically with last year’s Best of Kent Bartender, Mike Haney.

“On Friday, when Savanah and I bartend, we know most of the regulars by name and what they like to drink,” Haney said. “It’s then usually us greeting them with their favorite drink, than asking for their order.”

Second Place – Mike Haney

When it comes to remembering his humble beginnings roughly two years ago at Water Street Tavern, Mike Haney admits that, although he had previously bartended in Athens, Ohio, it wasn’t exactly a clean start.

“I was pretty good at Athens and then I moved up here,” Haney said. “But I figured out that when you take a break, you tend to forget everything about bartendering.”

Haney is now one of the popular bartenders in Kent, knowing regulars by names and remembering what they usually drink. A graduate of of Kent State, he is the happiest whenever he gets a crowd on Saturday nights and gets to see his coworkers.

Fellow bartender Savanah Freese is one of the coworkers Haney vibes with best, as Freese describes them together as a dynamic duo, working and goofing off together.

“Our costumers laugh and enjoy themselves whenever we play mini bar games or play pranks on each other,” Freese said.

Third Place – Joel McAdams

Always sporting a hat whenever he works at The Zephyr Pub, Joel McAdams has become a favorite among regulars at the Pub, who view him as a friendly face that’s always in a good mood when he bartends.

“Even on days whenever I’m feeling down, I make an effort to not show it while I bartend and make sure that they customer is happy,” McAdams said.

A bartending veteran, McAdams has roughly 15 years experience under his belt. And when it comes to why he’s so popular at Zephyrs, he attributes it to his calm and relaxed demeanor.

“I don’t have any Tom Cruise bartering tricks or else I’d break every cup in the bar,” McAdams said. “But I’m usually relaxed and it helps anyone approach me and ask for a drink.”

When asked about his preferred drink to make, McAdams places the Bloody Mary high on his list, describing it as an art whenever he prepares one.

“It does take a rather long time to make but it’s a fun drink to make,” McAdams said.