I've known Bridget Paliwoda of Community Bar (2703 Smith St) for about a year, since the time she started working there. And as often as I have been to Community, I have never seen her in a bad mood. I once witnessed her asking an out-of-control bar guest to vacate the premises, and even then she wasn't in a bad mood -- maybe a little irritated, but she was back to smiling and making drinks almost immediately. She's exactly the kind of bartender you hope for when you're having a stressful day and all you want is a good drink to sip made by someone friendly and competent.
Paliwoda describes Community as a "half and half bar," meaning that she makes drinks and pops beers about equally. She enjoys both sides of the job and is as happy experimenting with new drink recipes as she is handing regulars a Lone Star. "I like to drink beer," she says, "or Hendrick's and tonic if it's a bad day."
I recently tried Community Bar's signature drink, the Moscow Mule, a blend of vodka, freshly squeezed lime juice, and house-made ginger beer, which she then jazzed up with a little Crism Hibiscus Liqueur. Since it was red and cheery, we dubbed it the Yuletide Mule, which was promptly shortened to the Yule Mule. Whatever you call it, it's delicious.
Over the holidays, Paliwoda will be heading out to visit her father at his farm, and baking some pies. I'm intrigued by her latest pie creation, which she said is a combination of cranberry, apple and basil. It sounds delicious, and I bet it would pair perfectly with a Yule Mule