"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
When asked to be the subject of an OnMilwaukee.com bartender profile, Amber Anstey said, "I'm not the one who likes to shine. I just like to work."
In that case, we decided the Hooligan's bartender was the perfect candidate for the spotlight, and coaxed her into answering our questions in between diligently serving drinks and sandwiches with a smile.
Anstey has been a bartender for 10 years. She formerly worked at Brew City Barbeque, and has worked at Hooligan's since last summer. She works a mix of day and night shifts.
OnMilwaukee.com: Do you prefer working at night or during the day?
Amber Anstey: Now that I'm a little older, I like the day shifts, even though I'm really a night owl. There are a lot of lunchtime regulars here and it's fun.
OMC: What's your favorite drink to make?
AA: I like to tap beers. Seriously. I like beer.
OMC: If you were going to have a beer and a shot, what would you pick?
AA: Probably Spotted Cow with an orange and a cherry bomb or a shot of Powers.
OMC: Do drinkers tell you about Hooligan's history?
AA: All the time. I'm always hearing about how it used to be here, like when the stage was right over there on the bar. And I've served people who used to live upstairs (before Hooligan's expanded and there were apartments on the second floor of the building).
OMC: Would you say Hooligan's is a sports bar?
AA: Somewhat. People come here to watch sports, for sure. I used to come here to watch sporting events before I worked here. But people come here for all different reasons, not just for sports.
OMC: Did you work during the Super Bowl?
AA: I did. It was great seeing people freaking out in the streets. They actually took over the street. A guy climbed up a pole -- until the cops came -- and cars were turning around in the middle of North Avenue to avoid all the craziness. Another bartender and I watched for a half hour before we could back to closing. It was amazing.
OMC: What's the worst pick-up line you've heard?
AA: A friend of mine purposely tries to be creepy and says things like, "Is your soul as beautiful as your smile?"
OMC: Have you ever cleaned up puke?
AA: No. I have a very sensitive stomach. Once at Brew City Barbeque I accidentally put my hand in puke while cleaning a table and it was the most disgusting thing that ever happened to me.
OMC: What do you do when you're not tending bar?
AA: I'm in a Friday night dinner club with some friends. It's really fun. We go to places we've never been to before. And I really like hanging out at home.
OMC: Where are you from and where do you live now?
AA: I am originally from Muskego but now I live Downtown.
OMC: What's your favorite local beer?
AA: Lakefront White.
OMC: Do you ever have to cut people off and if so, how do you do it?
AA: I don't have to do it very often, but I have done it. I usually just give someone a glass of water, without them asking, and they get the hint. Of if someone who seems really drunk asks for another drink, I give them a water. If they ask again, I tell them they have clearly had enough to drink.
OMC: So what's a fair tip?
AA: I personally always give 20 percent, but $1 per drink or every other drink is OK. It also depends on how easy or involved the drink was to make. Obviously, you should tip your bartender more if the drink is tricky than if they just pop open a Miller Lite.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.