Bartender Chronicles: Katie Meehan, Baby’s All Right

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Photos by Sarah Jacobs

Have you ever wondered what life is like for those kind and patient people pouring shots behind the bar? This summer we’re bringing you a meet and greet with some of your favorite faces behind the bar at your favorite haunts. After the jump, Katie Meehan from Baby’s All Right shares her favorite part (or liquor) about bartending, her fave neighborhood spots, and the key to a perfect first Tinder date.

How long have you been bartending?
I’ve been bartending for about six months now.

What do you like about bartending?
Jameson. [Laughs.] No, I love people, and I love hospitality. I always have been an entertainer. In my past job, I modeled for the past six years, and I wasn’t very…I wasn’t using all of my personality in that. Also, I love bartending here because I get to see shows for free, and also the staff, the people I work with are so much fun. It’s really cool, especially bartending here, because…we book different types of music, so it brings in different types of people, and I get to talk to people that I wouldn’t normally get to talk to ever.

What’s your after-work drink?
A Negroni, absolutely.

Do you have any favorite spots in the neighborhood?
It depends on the night. I still love Skinny Dennis. It’s been one of my favorites for a long time. Also, the boys at Extra Fancy are awesome. They’re all good friends of mine. Midway is another go-to. I tend to go for the more dive-y experience.

Any advice for customers in terms of bar etiquette?
If we have the taps available, beer on draft, maybe look at those before you ask me what beers we have on tap. It’s right in the middle of the bar, it’s not hard to see … I’m a very patient person, which I think is very key in this industry. The beer thing for some reason gets to me.

If there were a bartender handbook, what would be rule No. 1?
Customer service … I feel like a lot of people feel annoyed when they have to serve, and I think the No. 1 thing people have to remember is that you’re serving people and you’re there for them to have a good time. It’s not about you. You’re serving others … Be pleasant. People are at your bar to have a good time or spill their guts or to escape. They don’t want to come into a bar and be, you know, kind of put down or pissed off.

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When you see people who are obviously on a first date or a Tinder date, how do you approach that?
I see it all the time. Sometimes I just watch. I’ve always been a people watcher — it’s one of my favorite pastimes, actually. So I’ll watch what’s going on. Sometimes I’ll bring over a drink or be like, ‘Shots on the house.’…And, yeah, I can be sassy and play with them a little bit, but for the most part I just watch and observe and giggle to myself. Because I’ve been there, we’ve all been on a first date.

Come say hi to Katie at Baby’s All Right during Northside Festival–check out the show lineup to see who’s playing.

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