Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front of the house professionals in Atlanta restaurants. Right now, DailyCandy Atlanta editor Ashley Hesseltine writes about her favorite bartenders:
Bartenders are some of my favorite people on the planet?because they serve drinks?and I love to drink. And I'll also take sitting at the bar over a table any day, so when I get a great 'tender, it really enhances the dining experience.
I couldn't pick just one so I'm going to reveal a few of my faves. Ryan Bailey at Café 640 is not only a fun friend of mine, he's responsible for one of the tastiest cocktails in town—the rosewater grapefruit martini. Beware: Two of them can quickly turn into six (and you booty calling your ex). Bailey also lets me taste test the housemade limoncello and other fancy concoctions/infusions Café 640 keeps behind the bar (just to make sure they're safe).
John John Delladonna at Pool Hall may be one of the friendliest bartenders in the city. Sure he's working at the diviest of dive bars (and I mean that in the best possible way because I love the place), but he's always got a smile on his face and a free hug ready to give out. And if I had a dime for every time JJ said, "Let's take a shot," I'd be rich enough to buy Pool Hall (not that it costs that much).
And lastly, there's Jeff Jackson at Rosebud, or as you may know him on Twitter, @DrinkWithJeff. He understands and appreciates my friends' and my love for mimosas (read: champagne with a splash of OJ), Orange Stillmans (the dangerous, breakfast-y libations served in 32-ounce Mason jars), and booze in general, so we always know we're in good hands when we head to Rosebud to day drink.