Look how hard I’m concentrating! I had to. I was getting people drunk for charity.
Actually, it was my 40th birthday party (come on now, you were invited, thanks to me social media-ing the @#$% out of it!) at the Public Hotel where I was invited to be the guest bartender to celebrate my entrance into my new decade. However the tip jar that was out was going to the charity of my choice (CASANA), so it was part party, part do-good-stuff-while-you-drink. I call that a win-win/drink situation. I very much enjoy those situations.
Being a Chicagoan, the Public Hotel is a big deal to me. It is home to the Pump Room which was “the” fancy restaurant for my family growing up. For example, Family Member A would say to Family Member B, “Why are you so dressed up? You think we’re going to the Pump Room or something?”
You get it. It was, like, a really big deal.
Let me first say, the people who manage the Pump Room, the Library Bar, and the Public Hotel are gracious and lovely. They are kind, they seemed excited to have me there, and they did not seem to care that I had NO idea what I had gotten myself into because, to answer everyone’s question, no, I had never bartended in my entire life. Can I pour myself a glass of wine? Sure. Do I want to stand behind a hotel bar where I can potentially knock every single bottle off the wall or break beautiful glassware? Not so much.
Turns out, the whole evening was a blast. Through my “tip jar” the Library Bar let me put out, I was able to raise tons of cash for CASANA–Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America–which is a non-profit dedicated to children and families who live with a speech condition that plagues our son. Their amazing (and patient) bartenders taught me how to make a few drinks and even showed me how to swing a bottle by the neck to pour properly. Let’s just say, I’ll be a hit at my next dinner party.
The best part of the night? Getting to drink and laugh with my friends and family. Turning 40 might be hard on the pores (ha!), and a bit rough on the psyche, but it’s so much easier when you have good people around you. And it’s a million times better when you get to party with them at the Pump Room/Public Hotel/Library Bar.
Sorry, but it just is.