Best of Kent: bartender

Nolan Drinkard a bartender at Zephyr Pub in downtown Kent won first place for best bartender voted on by the community. Nolan has been working for Zephyr for around five to six years now.

First place: Nolan Drinkard, Zephyr Pub

Walking into Zephyr Pub, a local bar in Kent, Nolan Drinkard stands out compared to the other bartenders. He’s a tall, 6-foot man wearing a colorful shirt and tie. He’s been working at Zephyr for five to six years and said it feels phenomenal to be voted best bartender. 

“I was third last year, and I’ve sharpened my knives. So, you know, I’m very happy to receive first, that’s exciting for me,” Drinkard said. 

Drinkard works at the bar four to six days out of the week. He said bartending is all about familiarizing yourself with the drinks and the people who are there. 

He said Zephyr’s most popular drink is a Blue Motherfucker; however, his signature drink is his martini.  

“If you’re ever jonesing in for a martini, let me know and I’m happy to make those,” Drinkard said.

Second place: Kyle Cox, Panini’s Bar and Grill

Kyle Cox describes bartending as a dance. He looks at his job as a service for the customers by making sure they are satisfied.

“You never know what kind of day people are having, or how the workplace is but you have to be able to adapt and it’s just making people smile, giving them a good experience,” Cox said. 

He’s been a bartender at Panini’s for a year and said that a lot of his regulars are Browns fans. Cox considers himself to be a beer specialist, but says his signature drink is the red stag and Dr. Pepper. 

Cox normally gives a peace sign to his customers as they leave the bar.

Third place: Aimee Sutherland, Barflyy

By day, Aimee Sutherland is a preschool teacher and at night she’s a bartender at Barflyy. 

Sutherland graduated from Kent State in 2018 and after a six month break found herself bartending. What she loves most about working at Barflyy is the staff.

“We are all absolutely hilarious and one big family, like we love working together. We love our job, like we all want to be there and not just like make money, but just have fun,” Sutherland said. 

Her signature drink is the electric lemonade.


Contact Gershon Harrell at [email protected].