Leslie Shafer isn’t the sort of bartender to just pour a drink. She remembers what you want, recommends Belgian beer to newcomers, and might even send a Facebook post to her Mussel Bar regulars about new imports. Good thing she likes working when it’s busy.
On Tap: How long have you been bartending at Mussel Bar?
Leslie Shafer: I started here when it opened in July. But I’ve been with the Wiedmaier Company since 2009.
OT: How can you possibly learn all 95 beers?
LS: I know, right?! Practice! And continuing my education through beer classes. Because I have a passion for it, it’s easier. Anytime I see a beer that I haven’t tried on the menu, that’s the one I get.
OT: What is your favorite beer on tap?
LS: The Tripel Kasteel. It has hints of banana and a champagne finish. It’s a very drinkable beer.
OT: Do you prefer mussels or oysters?
LS: Mussels. Definitely. But our oysters are amazing here. People love the oyster cart.
OT: Where would you be found when you are not working?
LS: I’m a Bethesda girl. So most likely Caddies or Tommy Joe’s. When I venture out, I like Belga Café on Capitol Hill or Lyon Hall in Arlington.
OT: What is your favorite/least favorite drink to make?
LS: My favorite is the Lemon Drop Martini. We use fresh squeezed lemons, simple syrup, and Ketel One. It’s very popular.
OT: What is your favorite shift?
LS: Friday nights. We have a lot of great regulars who come in. People are happy to be off of work for the week and they are just in a good mood. It’s busy. Just how I like it.
Catch Leslie behind the bar Wednesday through Saturday nights at Mussel Bar.
Mussel Bar: 7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda MD: 301-215-7817; www.musselbar.com