Bartender of the week- Nikki Blair
Name: Nikki Blair
Bar: Sidelines Sports Grill
Where are you from? Archdale, N.C.
How long have you been bartending? I’ve been a bartender for about eight years now.
How did you become a bartender? I was waitressing at a local spot when one of the bartenders called out sick, and I just got thrown over there. Best day ever!
What do you enjoy about bartending? I love the confidence I get being behind the pine. I’m an introvert; I’m quiet and rarely ever want to bring attention to myself. When I’m behind the bar, that all changes. I am the entertainment and demand attention! I love my job.
What’s your favorite drink to make? Anything that makes the customer happy makes me happy! Maybe your day was made with that perfect draft beer; maybe it was the peach margarita.
What’s your favorite drink to drink? I’m a beer and shot of Jameson girl. Whiskey is my weakness.
What would you recommend as an after-dinner drink? Almond Joy Martini. Chocolatey, coconut, creamy goodness.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while bartending? A few years back, I had a customer who would bring a new woman in with him every week while bringing his wife in between. We all patiently waited for his demise, lol. His wife catching him was the best fight I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t interested in anything but getting her hands on him. And when she did, he caught her drink with both hands up the side of his head.
What’s the best/biggest tip you’ve ever gotten? I once had a regular to come in every Sunday and drink beer. He was 72 at the time and a veteran. His wife had passed, and his kids grown. Three weeks before Christmas, he came in with a teddy bear and a card for me and inside was $300; $100 for each of my kids and a gift card for me to get my nails done. He thanked me for making him feel like family. That’s what makes this job amazing. I’ll never forget him.