An open letter to our favorite bartenders

For five twenty-somethings stuck in an endless battle between the new breweries Eater just covered (yes, there’s a heat map for that) and our oldy-but-goody corners of the peninsula, you are the beacon that calls us home.

Our loyalty is for keeps. And it’s not just the first name basis and libations that keep us coming back for more. We would defend your “better than yours” crown to any Jo-Shmo who thinks he can make a decent bourbon and ginger. So, congratulations you talented few, your ticket on the Cobblestone celebrity train comes with a lifetime warranty. We would truly be so much worse than thirsty if we had never met, and here’s why:

You remember that when it comes to “the usual,” two limes are always better than one. It’s the little things.

You know that on sunny summer days, Kleckley will stray from her norm and try that cucumber concoction you just perfected- but for Jenni, it will always be champagne.

You know that seasonal brews are the way to Porter’s heart and that I don’t shoot cinnamon.

You make us feel special. And not in the “because our mother’s told us we were” kind of way. In the “inside jokes that make other customers jealous” kind of way.

You give us ground to stand on with our bold, but accurate, claim that our city is the best.

You provide recommendations and DIY recipes that would make even the most avid Garden and Gun hostess jealous. But let’s face it; no one makes a Snapdragon quite like you.

You provide the hype for our triumphs, the community gossip without the barbershop, a slap of reality when we need it and grin-inducing banter when we don’t.

So thank you for putting up with us. For your contagious charisma and unique brand of perfection when it comes to your craft. Most of all, thank you for being the constant smiling face behind a place that feels like ours (despite the 10 other groups you call regulars).

You are the secret we hate to share. (Unless it’s by way of distributing your restaurant’s matches- then Natalie might commandeer the whole bowl of them. Just know it’s because she cares.)Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 10.13.29 AM

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