Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar – Kelly McKernan

Bartender Kelly McKernan at Fiona's. Photo Credit © Chester Simpson
Bartender Kelly McKernan at Fiona’s. Photo Credit © Chester Simpson

Kelly McKernan
Fiona’s Irish Pub
5810 Kingstowne Center

Kelly serves up a Guinness. She is behind the bar Tue. – Wed. 11am-5pm, Thurs. – Sat. 5pm-2am.

How did you get started bartending?
I was working as a retail manager and loved working with people but I didn’t like the pay. After work one day I went to Kate’s Irish Pub in Springfield. I was offered a job while sitting at the bar. I started out as a waitress and within six months they trained me as a cocktail waitress where I made all my own drinks. My official first bartending shift was on Sundays during all the football games which I loved.

What is your bartender pet peeve?
Rude people.  I’m here to help you not hurt you. If you’re having a bad day a bar is a great place to relieve some stress, just as long as you don’t take it out on me.

What’s the best line somebody has used to get a free drink?
For me it’s not a line. I will say that I’m a sucker for treats. I have regulars who will bring me Starbucks, fresh vegetables from their garden, food from overseas, craft beer that you can’t get in Virginia and baseball tickets.

What’s the most memorable pickup line you’ve heard?
I had just gotten off of work and was having a drink with my female co-workers at Spider Kelly’s. This guy was obviously drunk and came up to us. His line was “Looks like you guys are talking about something pretty serious.” We weren’t and so we tried to get him to leave. He asked what restaurant we worked at and we told him. He said he was friends with Kelly who worked there and did we know her. I told him that I’m Kelly and the only reason he knew me was because I had introduced myself when he came to my bar. It was really sad to see someone name drop your own name to you.

Can you tell me an interesting story?
Restaurant Christmas parties. There’s a lot that goes down during and after those. What happens at a Christmas party stays at a Christmas party. My favorite thing to do is to only have a couple of beers and watch everyone else go nuts. It’s very entertaining.

Who would you most like to sit down and have a drink with?
Dave Attell. I would watch Insomniac on Comedy Central all the time. He knows how to drink and he’s a comedian. I’m sure that I would have a great time and he could keep me laughing.

Written by: Chester Simpson
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