Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week Katie Moulton profiles Helen Fitzgerald's bar manager Steve Buncher. Below is a Q&A with Buncher, followed by the recipe for his "Triple S" shot.
When Girl Walks into a Bar walks into Helen Fitzgerald's Irish Grill and Pub (3650 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Sunset Hills; 314-984-0026) at around 5 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, the spacious south-county stalwart is already bustling with regulars. A member of the Syberg family of venues, Helen's is a casual joint where something's always going on. GWIB has witnessed everything from beer pong to Sunday brunch to line dancing at this big watering hole, which hosts live music on weekends and also on Wednesday nights, when there's no cover charge and Anheuser-Busch domestic bottles are priced at a cool $2 apiece.
Helen Fitzgerald's even makes a party out of giving back to its community. Bar manager Steve Buncher tells us that at this year's annual Conquer Kids' Cancer event, they shaved almost 400 heads and raised about $300,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
And this Sunday, March 27, the stage will fill once again for a concert benefiting the City of Sunset Hills Tornado Relief Fund, featuring Southern rocker and American Idol alum Bo Bice and local roots-rock band John Henry and the Engine. For your weekly dose of customer appreciation at Helen's, Buncher recommends Thursday nights, when it's $10 bottomless cups for ladies. Everybody wins.
Though GWIB couldn't stick around for the Wednesday-night shenanigans, Buncher, who has worked at Helen's for thirteen years, stepped up to answer our questions and whip up his signature drink.
Describe your bartending style in three words: Enthusiastic, determined, hard-working.
My bar is the only bar in St. Louis where... An 80-year-old regular named Norm gets on stage with the band every week.
Girl walks into a bar and orders a ______ . She has just earned my undying admiration. Budweiser and a shot of Jameson -- because that's what I drink.
The most dumbass drink anyone's ever asked for? I've gotten random requests for a "melted snowman shot," which is just water. Or the "Three Stages of Friendship" shot: Jack Daniel's, tequila and Bacardi 151. If someone orders you this drink, they're not your friend.
Other than your own bar, where do you go to get a good drink, and what do you have? Tower Pub; Budweiser and Jameson.
If my friends and I simply must have a round of shots, what should they be? "The Triple S."
The Triple S
1 oz. Pomegranate Pearl vodka Splash of raspberry liqueur Splash of cranberry juice Splash of lemon-lime soda (e.g., 7-Up, Sprite, Sierra Mist)