It's no secret (closer to a cliche) that restaurant industry people like to catch a drink. But what they're looking for in a bar is a little more elusive. It seems that after slinging cocktails for hours their preferences aren't too far from anyone else's—somewhere close to home, with good drinks and an inviting atmosphere and staff. Here are four local bartenders and their picks for places that offer just that.
Bar Charlie's Christian Thomason
"I'm a huge fan of my neighborhood bars. On a day off I'll hit Prost! Phinney Ridge and or Oliver's Twist. Both bars have a laid back environment and great staff. At Prost I enjoy the simplicity of a cold German beer while at Oliver's Twist I like to choose a spirit and let the bartender whip something up."
Good Bar's Joshua Batway
"I am a big fan of Slow Boat Tavern in Hillman City. They have an ever-rotating and outstanding beer selection along with free peanuts. I always learn something new when I go there because the staff is very knowledgeable."
Artusi's Megan Fitzpatrick
"Bar House is a new bar in Fremont. It has unpretentious, no-frills drinks and snacks. Great fun and casual atmosphere with kitschy-in-the-best-way decor. My neighborhood bar. Sun Liquor Lounge is the place for tropical vibes without the syrup-y, overly sweet drinks that are sometimes a package deal. You'll find some of the most knowledgeable and hospitable bartenders in town."
Westward's Jason Corales-Diaz
"My favorite is currently JarrBar in the market. It brings me back to my time in Spain with endless sherry selection and a jamon leg on the bar. My go-to is a bottle of Estrella with a glass of the Valdespino amontillado sherry. The space is tiny, with high ceilings, vinyl records constantly playing. It feels like a place you can sit for hours at a time."