Behind the Bar, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar with Phil Lee


Phil Lee
Mackie’s Bar & Grill
907 King Street
Old Town Alexandria



How did you get started in the bar business?
I got started by working at the hottest nightclub in DC (at the time) – Ozio!.


What is your biggest bartenders pet peeve?
Disorganized and unkempt bar. A clean bar is a happy bar 🙂


What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get a “free” drink?
I haven’t heard anything too clever. Except when they tell me they run the Old Town Crier, lol. Besides I don’t buy drinks, I sell them.


What’s the best “pick up” line you’ve heard at your bar?
Best pick up line? I’ve yet to hear one. Can’t recall one, where I say to myself, “Ooh, I gotta use that line”. I would just rather be jstraight forward. The worst pick up line? There are just too many to mention.


Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had while at work.
One interesting encounter I had was very recent. It was with this lovely (and very nice) couple who turned out to be Danny Espinosa – of Washington Nationals baseball fame – and his beautiful wife. I guess I didn’t recognize him without his “fu manchu” moustache. Very generous tippers I might add.


If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone – past or present – who would it be?
If I could have a drink with anybody in the world past or present. First, it would have to be my father. With his illness and death in my young adult life, we never had that opportunity. Second, it would have to be Montgomery Clift. Watching his movies in my teens taught me how to be “cool”. And A Place in the Sun is my favorite movie.


Phil is behind the bar Monday through Friday from 4 pm to close.

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