25 things you never knew about Brian Smith, bartender at the Squeaky Bean
As Westword's Ask the Bartender columnist, I've talked with many bartenders for Cafe Society's "Behind the Bar" series, posing numerous questions to Denver's top bartenders...and often receiving the same answers: "I love chartreuse," or "I'm really into smoked cocktails/barrel aging/bottled cocktails."
Some time ago, a Facebook friend posted 25 things about himself that most people weren't aware of -- and then he tagged me in the post, at which point I was supposed to do the same: rattle off 25 little-known facts about myself and ask someone else to follow suit. Instead, I'm asking Denver's bartenders to get up and close with Westword readers and share 25 lesser known tidbits about themselves -- and then name the next bartender that I should interview.
In this week's "25 things you never knew" installment, Brian Smith, bar manager of the Squeaky Bean, is the focus. I first met Smith a few years ago during the time I bartended at Euclid Hall. He sat at the bar, and after striking up a conversation, revealed that he was tapped to be the bar manager at the new Squeaky Bean in LoDo, which was kinda funny, because I was already working on menu development and I, in fact, was tapped for that position. Nonetheless, I smiled and wished him luck. As it turned out, I did end up opening the Squeaky Bean, while Smith ran the acclaimed bar programs at both Pinche Taco locations until just recently, when he became the bar manager at -- guess where? -- the Squeaky Bean, taking over my old position. He has wit and energy, which guests love, and his fellow bartenders are proud to work with him. Smith is a perfect fit for the quirky, eccentric feel at the Squeaky Bean, and I'm betting that he'll take that program to new heights.
In the interview that follows, Brian exposes his mother's talent with explosives and cops to the time he accidentally spit mezcal on fellow bartender Chad Michael George, who tends bar at Williams & Graham.