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Eugene’s Sexiest Drink Slingers ‘09

Words by Chuck Adams • Photo by Todd Cooper

It’s 4 pm and still daylight when the doors open at Sam Bond’s to the early crowd of grizzled regulars who wander over in their slippers. This scene is about as sexy as a hospital cafeteria. Then Eugene’s newly crowned Sexiest Female Bartender, Ciara Hall, enters the room to start her shift and the air gets imperceptibly sexier. This is, after all, probably one of Eugene’s least sexy bars, and for good reason. You don’t come here looking for a meat market. In fact, you probably won’t even find meat on the menu. So I sat down with Ciara and quizzed her, inserting the word “sexiest” into as many questions as possible.   

How long have you tended bar at Sam Bond’s?

Four years.

How’d you end up getting this gig?

I worked the door for a year before a shift opened up and I started bartending.

How are your coworkers taking the news?

They’re so stoked. They all voted for me. It totally makes up for never getting an I Saw You in the Eugene Weekly, that’s for sure!

Anyone else you want to thank?

I’m sure a good portion was the Bingo Night crowd. The Bingo guys [Tom Heinl and Scott K.] announced it onstage.

What’s the sexiest part about bartending at Sam Bond’s?

Um …

Let me rephrase that: What’s sexy about Sam Bond’s?

It’s not sexy when people make out here.

What’s the most popular drink you serve?

Ninkasi.

What’s the craziest, sexiest thing that’s happened to you bartending?

When local act Terpsichore’s Daughters do their Valentine’s Day burlesque show here. That’s the sexiest, I think.

What’s the craziest, non-sexiest thing?

A guy was sitting at the bar waiting for a drink. He asked what he had to do “to get a drink around here” and the girl next to him said, “Just take off your clothes.” And so he took his clothes off. [Laughs] So we kicked him out.

Do customers sometimes hit on you?

Not as much you’d think, actually. I think I intimidate boys a little bit. I’m not exactly a quiet person.

If you had to name a physical or personality trait that got people to vote for you, what would it be?

The tattoo [on my chest] probably… draws the eyes to the … boob area. [Laughs] I’m pretty easy to talk to and friendly, too.

What’s one random thing that people don’t know about you that you’d like to share?

I used to sew quilts when I was a teenager. Kinda nerdy.

Do you still sew quilts?

No. [Laughs]

How are you going to capitalize on this award during your reign?

It’s going to make it a lot easier to flirt with people. Maybe I’ll get a couple dates out of it. [Laughs] 

 

 

 

When I called up Andrew Harrison to let him know he’d won Eugene’s Sexiest Male Bartender, he had already been tipped off. “Eugene’s sexiest bartender,” he said when he picked up the bar’s phone. Someone’s already getting into this, I thought. Later he’d tell me his coworkers goaded him into it and it was all just coincidence. After meeting him, I agree. Harrison is a down-to-Earth homeboy with an unassuming nature. Working at Rennie’s has left him with battle scars and stories aplenty. We sat down on the sunny outdoor deck and I tried to get a sense of Harrison’s ballcap, T-shirt and jeans personality.

How long have you tended bar at Rennie’s?

A year in May.

This was a close vote. Who should you be thanking for putting you over the top?

Rico, who works here, was kind of my campaign manager. I had a friend who came in one night and said she voted me sexiest bartender, and he overheard and kind of made it a point to let everyone know to go vote for me.

What’s the sexiest part about your job?

Beer goggles on girls, I guess. That probably brings me from a seven to an eight. [Laughs]

So there’s some flirting going on with the customers?

Oh, definitely. We have a really playful staff anyway. Everyone plays off each other so that definitely helps the vibe in here. 

Have you scored any dates working this job?

Actually, I have a date tonight with a girl I met here. Going to see Watchmen.

What’s the least sexy part about your job?

When someone pukes in the bathroom sink and it clogs the sink. It’s not pleasant at all. 

What’s sexy about Rennie’s?

There seem to be a lot of attractive people because of its vicinity to campus. It has that meat market feel to it, but not quite as bad as that place down the street. [Laughs]

What are some of your specialty drinks?

I make a real good scratch sour mix ... Also, we normally don’t carry fresh mint, but I always close on Sunday nights so I bring in my own mint and make a Grey Goose pear, mint, lime, simple syrup martini. 

What’s the craziest, scariest thing that’s ever happened to you while bartending?

Two nights in a row we had people lob pint glasses off the deck at people walking on the sidewalk. I’ve been hit by a pint glass, too. I have a scar on my upper lip from that. Thirteen stitches.

What’s one random thing that people don’t know about you that you’d like to share?

I was debate champion in high school. [Laughs] Also, I want to be a lobbyist. That’s a job you don’t hear too many people aspiring to be.

If there was one thing you could lobby for or against in the bar and alcohol industry, what would it be?

I vehemently oppose the new beer tax that [the Oregon state House of Representatives] is proposing. It’s a 1600 percent increase in the taxes that breweries pay on beer. That would just completely crush Oregon’s craft beer industry, which has been one of the state’s strongest industries during the downturn in this economy. 

How are you going to capitalize on being Eugene’s Sexiest Male Bartender?

I’m going to try to not come off as a douchebag, I guess. Try to not let it affect my ego too much.

 

 

:: :: Tippling in Topsy-Turvy Times :: From ‘Margaritas’ to Joose :: Eugene’s Sexiest Drink Slingers ‘09 :: ::

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