In Bars & Clubs

Come see Allison at Whiskey River.

Featured bartender: Allison Vraa of Whiskey River Saloon

Allison Vraa isn't your typical veteran drink-slinger, but she knows her way around the business end of a bar. She's got four years under her belt and has been at Whiskey River since the Old World 3rd Street bar (formerly Bootleggers) opened last November. How long have you been tending bar and how long have you been at your bar?

Allison Vraa: I've been tending bar for just shy of four years. I've been at Whiskey River since it opened in November.

OMC: How did you get started?

AV: I worked at a pub and restaurant on the South Side waiting tables and once a few bartenders quit I got promoted to bartender.

OMC: Do you prefer nights, days or weekends?

AV: Friday and Saturday nights. That's where the action's at.

OMC: What's your favorite drink to make?

AV: Bottled beer.

OMC: What's your least favorite drink to make?

AV: I hate the "Hmmm, I dunno! Make me something good!" order because y idea of a good drink might not be the same as yours. If you substitute the word "good" for "fruity" chances are you'll have a glass filled with some flavored vodka, 3 different kinds of juice and grenadine. It might taste good at the time but your stomach will hate me in the morning.

OMC: What do you like most about Whiskey River?

AV: We just opened our roof top bar and patio and it's a great place for happy hour.

OMC: Have you ever had to clean up puke or break up a fight?

AV: No. I tell customers who seem on their way that if they puke they have to clean it up themselves. That's usually followed by them ordering a water. As far as fights go, I leave that that to our security staff.

OMC: What's the worst pick-up line you have heard – and do any of them work?

AV: I wouldn't say it was a pick-up line, as much as it was a pick-up attempt. I refused to accept a guys number due to the fact he was wearing a wedding band. That was followed by him shoving his ring in his mouth and mumbling, "what ring?" Class.

OMC: How do you know when to cut people off and how do you go about not serving them anymore?

AV: When a customer orders a Miller Lite and it's pronounced with one syllable is a pretty good indicator that they shouldn't have had their last drink, or two. I put a water down in front of them and if they get fussy I get Nolan (the manager).

OMC: Do you drink behind the bar?

AV: Sometimes ... it makes things interesting.

OMC: What's a fair tip?

AV: Depends. If you're getting free drinks or specials I tip as if my drinks were full price but 18-20% is generally a good rule of thumb. If your bartender/server shows you an extra good time, tip a little more.

OMC: When you're not working, what do you like to do?

AV: Well, I'm a full time student so between class and work I don't get a lot of free time. When I do I spend time drinking with friends or hanging with the fam.

OMC: What's your favorite bar, besides your own?

AV: Milwaukee Brat House. The staff there is great and is a lot of fun. If you haven't been there I'd strongly recommend you stop there, after Whiskey River, of course.

OMC: What do you drink when you're on the other side of the bar?

AV: Kettle one press with lemon and lime or wine.


Tiger | March 27, 2011 at 11:25 a.m. (report)

I love whiskey River Saloon. They have great happy hour specials and Allison is one of the awesome bartenders there. I always go there prior to Bradley Center events for drink & food.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
1 comment about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.

Facebook Comments

Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of or its staff.