Spirit Cruises January 2023 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:
 
Inflation Hits PA Wine & Spirits with 4% Price Increase Across 3,500 Products

Inflation Hits PA Wine & Spirits with 4% Price Increase Across 3,500 Products

The PLCB, announced that a 4% price increase would go into effect on 3,554 of its most popular wine and spirit...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 9, 2023
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
The Philly Distiller Who Got Laid Off and Moved to Hawaii to Make Gin

The Philly Distiller Who Got Laid Off and Moved to Hawaii to Make Gin

In this segment we speak to Olivia Babiec, the former Philadelphia Distiller who moved to Hawaii to make gin...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 5, 2023
SPONSORED
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
Bars & Restaurants that Host Private Events in Philadelphia

Bars & Restaurants that Host Private Events in Philadelphia

Holidays, birthdays, weddings, or any private event - Philadelphia has you covered...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 5, 2022
Where to Celebrate Philly Cider Week 2022, October 23-30

Where to Celebrate Philly Cider Week 2022, October 23-30

The fourth annual Philadelphia Cider Week is being celebrated from Sunday, October 23 through Sunday, October 30...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 21, 2022
Enjoy Fall Weather & PA Ciders in a Historic Setting at CiderFest, October 15 & 16

Enjoy Fall Weather & PA Ciders in a Historic Setting at CiderFest, October 15 & 16

Fall is here and what better way to celebrate than at CiderFest at the historic Woodford Mansion in Fairmount ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 13, 2022
WitchCraft: Halloween Themed Beer Fest in the Middle of the NJ Woods Returns October 14 & 15

WitchCraft: Halloween Themed Beer Fest in the Middle of the NJ Woods Returns October 14 & 15

The team behind the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival have conjured up a spellbinding event - WitchCraft - a...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 12, 2022
LMNO: An Inside Look at Their 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Cocktail Menu

LMNO: An Inside Look at Their 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Cocktail Menu

Fishtown has a new Baja Mexican destination for tequila and mezcal fans...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 14, 2022
Behind the Bar: Bartender Barry (Johnson)

Behind the Bar: Bartender Barry (Johnson)

In this installment of Behind the Bar, we sit down with Barry Johnson, better known as "Bartender Barry" of Instagram and as cocktail catering special...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 9, 2022
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close