Bartender Chat: Chelsea Drummond of The Dubliner
It's halfway to St. Patrick's Day (truth), so we popped into The Dubliner earlier this week to...celebrate? Sure, why not? While sipping a Guinness, we started talking to Chelsea, a California native who's been living in Houston for three years. Her friends thought she was nuts for leaving the delightful climate of the San Francisco Bay Area (where it is currently 70 degrees and sunny) for the sauna that is Houston, but she says this city just suits her personality. She's got a laid-back, affable demeanor, an infectious laugh and can make some dangerously tasty shots with names that would make Ron Jeremy blush.
How would you describe your bar? Hole-in-the-wall, neighborhood Irish pub, not the typical Washington Avenue bar. We're the little sister of The Harp on Richmond, and I bartend there, too.
You lived in LA before moving to Houston. How is bartending in Houston different from bartending in LA? The whole vibe is so different. When you meet people in LA, it's like "Oh, what do you do? Who do you know? How can I benefit from knowing you?" But when you tell people that you just moved here, everyone is like, "Welcome!" I'm a super-social person, so that's more my vibe. This whole interaction...us just talking...doesn't happen in LA. Here, you have time to speak to people, not just "Here's your drink, gimme your money, I'm done with you."
How would you describe the crowd? It's a younger crowd, mid-twenties, mid-thirties, mostly people that live and work in the neighborhood. We also get a lot of overflow from other bars on Washington, people who can't get in somewhere because they are violating dress code. It's ridiculous, I mean, be comfortable.
What are some other jobs you've held besides tending bar? I was in real estate for a little while. I was a member of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, but it wasn't my thing. I worked at a coffee shop before I started bartending, which made the transition pretty easy, it's all mixology.
Where do you go to get a drink? I'll come in here on my night off or maybe The Harp, McElroy's and Raiders on Alabama. All super-mellow, laid-back places.
What's one thing that would make Houston a better city? Public transportation here is awful. If I took the bus to work it would take four or five transfers. It would take hours to get here.
*Wildcard from the Loaded Questions box: If you were meeting someone for the first time, what would you hope they were not wearing?
Shorts with white socks and sandals. That's the one look I can't do...the "socks and sandals"...or maybe a fanny pack. That's a no-no. It's finally starting to feel nice out, and The Dubliner has a great back patio. There are industry specials and happy hours daily through 8 p.m., extended to 10 p.m. on Thursdays. Stop in and ask Chelsea to make you a shot with some obscene name, but first make sure you don't have to wake up at 5 a.m. the next day.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.