Courtney Saunders of Bar Louie
Stop into the new Bar Louie in Rockville Town Center, and you’ll likely encounter a fiery blonde with blue eyes. Courtney Saunders is a little lady with a lot of personality. She loves working there because she gets to be herself. That, and it pays for her shopping trips.
On Tap: How did you get into bartending?
Courtney Saunders: I served at Hooters and then Joe’s Crab Shack. I happened to be standing there when they were short one night, and the manager asked ‘Have you bartended before?’ I said, ‘No, but I’d be good at it!” And that’s how I got my start.
OT: What is the best part about working here?
CS: I have fun! The managers want to make sure we’re all having a good time. They constantly tell us we are doing a great job and it feels good to be acknowledged like that.
OT: What is your favorite drink to make?
CS: All our martinis are fun—maybe the Diva. When we opened two months ago, we had a two day class and learned all the secrets about the specific way to shake them and the weird techniques. It’s a lot of work but it makes them taste 10 times better!
Catch Courtney at Bar Louie on Friday and Saturday nights.
Bar Louie may be the new kid on the Town Square block, but he’s fast becoming one of the most popular. With happy hour specials like $3 drafts and $4 glasses of wine, value-seekers are happy, especially when sampling Bar Louie’s infamous martinis for only $5! The open-air tables are sure to be packed on early fall nights. On Friday and Saturday nights, the DJ comes in and things really get rocking!
Bar Louie: Rockville Town Square, Rockville, MD; 240-238-1080; www.barlouieamerica.com
Tommy Kinsella of Ireland’s Four P’s
It’s been hot. But that’s not keeping the regulars from Tommy Kinsella’s outdoor bar. Originally from Offaly, Ireland, he seems awfully happy in NoVa. He knows everyone’s name and drink, and creates a sense of community amongst the regulars.
On Tap: How would you describe this place?
Tommy Kinsella: Awesome! Friendly! Lots of room for everyone. There are so many regulars. You can time your watch by most of them and what they drink. They are very particular.
OT: How long have you been bartending at the Four P’s?
TK: Twelve years. I got off the boat and came straight here. Literally.
OT: What do you miss most about Ireland?
TK: Um…(thinks about it) I suppose I should say something? It’s not the weather, not the economy. Family. That’s a good one. I miss my family.
OT: As an outdoor bartender, has the weather been hurting business?
TK: No! People are still coming out here. It was mobbed on Saturday when it was 110 degrees! I will say the frozen drinks have been a lot more popular lately, though.
OT: Do you have any exciting trips planned?
TK: Yes! The wife and I are going to Aruba for our one-year anniversary. We went to Hawaii last year for the honeymoon. I’m spoiling her; she deserves it, she puts up with me.
Catch Tommy Monday-Saturday nights at Four P's.
At the Four P’s in Falls Church, the bar staff treat people like family. People from all walks of life gather at the bar to unwind over a pint. If you’re looking for your new neighborhood bar, this is it. The outdoor bar is particularly nice in summer, transforming route 7 into A1A Beach Front Ave.
Ireland’s Four P’s: 105 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA: 703-534-8999; www.fourpsva.com
Rachel Traverso of My Brother’s Place
Rachel Traverso has been at My Brother’s Place for three and a half years. In 2011, On Tap readers voted her the top female bartender in DC. Her bright smile and good service keep people coming back. Better stop in soon to chat with her—this girl’s got big plans!
On Tap: Were your regulars happy to see you won On Tap’s top bartender 2011?
Rachel Traverso: Everyone was so excited! I mentioned something about the Labor Department and they were so excited to be in the paper. I think some people even saved it. It was really cute.
OT: What is the best part about working here?
RT: The customers and the regular crowd. It’s like a little family. We had a Christmas party last year and all of them were invited. I organized a Secret Santa and the regulars took part. We had a great time, played games and everything.
OT: Where are you when you are not working?
RT: A little wine bar around DC—Aqua Al’s, Veritas, Gibson. One of those.
OT: What is your favorite thing about DC summers?
RT: The air conditioning! Also, my boyfriend got a motorcycle, and I love riding on the back of it and looking at the architecture and the houses.
Catch Rachel Traverso Tuesday mornings, and Wednesday through Friday.
My Brother’s Place is located on a not-so-obvious corner. It helps keep the local atmosphere, well, local. Neighbors, Labor Department employees, and kickball teams chow down on Chicken Enchiladas, getting the most out of their beer pitchers and strong drinks. The laid back crowd is always having a good time.
My Brother’s Place: 237 2nd St. SW, DC; 202-347-1350; www.mybrothersplacedc.net
Photos by Nicole Pearo Taylor