By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 23, 2009 at 1:42 PM

"Bar Month" at is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

As gets ready to host the first Bartender Olympics, you can get ready to cheer on the competition by familiarizing yourself with future Milwaukee Bar Olympians.

Watch for profiles of all 10 bartenders over the next week and then catch the action at the Milwaukee Ale House on Thursday, Feb. 26. All in honor of friendly competition cheer on your favorite Olympian while you enjoy deals on Ale House food and Maker's Mark, Jameson, Absolut Mango or Dr. Lemon drinks.

Recently, we tracked down Matt Simonis, a bartender at The Eastsider, 1732 E. North Ave., and asked him a few questions about life behind the bar. What's your favorite thing about being a bartender in Milwaukee?

Matt Simonis: Hard to say exactly. I don't think I can say exactly I enjoy being a bartender in Milwaukee. I will say I can do what I do anywhere else, but I've never had the heart to leave the city. Milwaukee has something special you can't find anywhere else!

OMC: If you could bartend somewhere other then where you work now, where would it be?

MS: If I could be anywhere, it would be in New York, mainly to work and study under some of the best mixologists in the world. Guys out there have taken their science degrees and applied it to making innovative cocktails, and I would love the opportunity to learn from them. But most definitely, I would return here with that knowledge.

OMC: If you could serve a drink to anyone, who would it be and what would you serve?

MS: Tough question. There are many people I would love to meet and serve a drink to and have a conversation with, like Mike Ness of Social Distortion, or possibly Gandhi. I'd like to get him smashed.

OMC: Which five artists would you put on a jukebox?

MS: Social Distortion, Danko Jones, Journey, The Lonely Island and probably the "Repo Man" soundtrack.

OMC: In the competition you're going to be making a cocktail with one of the four sponsor brands. Which one did you pick and how do you typically serve it? 

MS: Maker's Mark, all the way. Neat with a couple cubes, or with ginger ale. Yummy.