Best Bartender - 2007
You may not remember Ryder Murphy, or know that he has ever served you at Mangia Italiano. Maybe all you have is some vague recollection of last Friday night, one that involved double-fisting cans of Schlitz while dirty dancing to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" with a total stranger (even though you hate jazz). Maybe you don't remember ever being at Mangia Italiano or maybe you have a problem. But maybe just maybe you vaguely remember the bartender being a really nice dude and foggily recollect that last Jack-and-Coke you didn't really need being mixed just right. So on Fridays, call up your buddy who was nice enough to drive your befuddled butt home on the Coltrane night and ask how to get back to South Grand. Ryder will greet you with a modest smile, engage you in casual yet concerned conversation, and quite possibly call you by name. And then he'll make you your favorite drink because he already knows what it is. Even if you don't remember telling him.