Spirit of Philadelphia Holiday 2017 Leaderboard

Behind the Bar: Amy Farrell of Bar 210 at the Rittenhouse Hotel

by Drink Philly on Dec 14, 2017 in Culture for Bar 210

 
This time on Behind the Bar, we talked to Amy Farrell at Bar 210 in the Rittenhouse Hotel. Originally from Pittsburgh, Farrell grew up outside of D.C., got an acting degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and currently lives in the Rittenhouse area — so we chatted about the Steelers, her cat named Tully, and why being a kind bartender is so important.

Drink Philly (DP): Tell me a little bit about the place.
Amy Farrell (AF): Before Bar 210 was built, it was just extra seating for the restaurant (Lacroix), and drinks ran out of the service bar in the back of the house. I’ve been here since it opened in September of 2008, and it’s kind of like my “bar baby.” I love it here, because people have certain ideas about bars within fine dining restaurants, but I think we’ve shown over the years that it’s a very comfortable bar for guests, neighbors in the city, and everyone who wants a good drink.

DP: Have you bartended elsewhere?
AF: When I graduated from college, I was a cocktail server at a nightclub (M Lounge) in Old City. I was a shot girl at Polly Esther’s while I was in college. When a bartender called out sick, I lied about having bartending experience, and just took over. I opened Continental Mid-Town as a bartender as well.

DP: What’s trendy right now?
AF: Whiskey, definitely. Classic cocktails, reimagined. I think people are more in tune with cocktails right now, so it doesn’t have to be a “trend” as long as it’s good.

DP: What are some trends you wish would die?
AF: I hate when you go to a craft cocktail place and it takes the bartenders forever to make a drink. There’s a way to streamline, make a great drink, and still keep the customer happy.

DP: Any predictions about where the industry might go next?
AF: I think it’s headed in a great direction. So much of what’s driving the industry now is quality - it’s service based, it’s product based, it’s all around quality. The competition is so stiff that you have to be on point at all times.

DP: One unexpected fact about you?
AF: I’m a total tomboy. I was a dancer and an actor for years, but I’ve always loved sports. It was always a connection with my dad, who was a lifelong Steelers fan.

DP: Favorite beer?
AF: Lately, it’s been Dogfish Head SeaQuench. It changes a lot. But Miller High Life is my go to beer.

DP: Favorite liquor?
AF: I love doing shots of Tully. My cat’s named Tully. I love working with gin - it’s got so much going on already, and then you can play with it even more.

DP: Favorite cocktail?
AF: Manhattan. I love them with High West Double Rye and Carpano - my husband (Kevin Farrell of Continental) made me one the other day.


The Blackberry: Jim Beam Black, blackberry, basil, ginger

DP: What’s your favorite kind of customer?
AF: Somebody that’s in a good mood and that’s open to trying new things. Someone who wants to be challenged, but isn’t indecisive.

DP: Favorite bar joke?
AF: The only joke I can ever remember is “Why are lobsters bad at sharing? Because they’re shellfish.”

DP: What do you think the essentials are for a good home bar?
AF: I always have at least one of each essential spirit - gin, whiskey, vodka, rum, tequila. You need a good bar spoon, definitely. I think it’s important to have an ice bucket, especially for entertaining. Pour tops, a Boston shaker (I like stirring in a glass), a good strainer, a wine key with a double hinge and a serrated knife. St. Germain is a good one. Campari, of course. If I’m getting ready to go out, I love a Campari and soda. I always have a bottle of Carpano. I like Dolin dry vermouth.

DP: Where do you go for a drink when you’re not working?
AF: Black Sheep - that’s my neighborhood bar, and sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

DP: What’s the secret to being a great bartender?
AF: Being kind. I think so many bartenders want a guest to be a certain way, but every guest and bartender are different. If you don’t have strict expectations, you’ll be able to make every guest happy. The expectation should be on us, not the guests.

DP: If you could have a drink with any person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you drink?
AF: I'll choose one of each. Unfortunately, in 2011, my dad passed away from cancer, so if I could have both, I would drink with my dad and Terry Bradshaw. We’d have shots of whiskey and an Iron City beer.

Photo via Drink Philly 


Tags: Behind the Bar
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones might not be coming back until 2019, but you can still drink like Tyrion Lannister with the ne...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 12, 2018
Behind the Bar: Marie Piraino of Bud & Marilyn's

Behind the Bar: Marie Piraino of Bud & Marilyn's

This week on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Marie Piraino at Bud & Marilyn's....read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 10, 2018
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 6, 2017
SPONSORED
Skygarten Rectangle Ad
Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

The adult candy company, Sugarfina, is behind this sinful creation of vodka-infused chocolate cordials, and th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
La Peg's Ice Bar Pegsicle Returns for the Winter, January 15

La Peg's Ice Bar Pegsicle Returns for the Winter, January 15

Things are about to get brisk at La Peg with the return of Pegsicle, an outdoor bar made out of hand-carved ice. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Philly's Best Happy Hours: a.bar's Oysters, $8 Punch & Wines, and $4 Beers

Philly's Best Happy Hours: a.bar's Oysters, $8 Punch & Wines, and $4 Beers

This week, we're focusing on a.bar, the chic, casual counterpart to a.kitchen, which you can find right at the...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 4, 2018
Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

It's a snow day here in Philly! Keep checking back, as updates will be posted all day....read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 4, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close