Bartender Chat: Diana Franco of Velvet Melvin Pub

Diana Franco is exactly the kind of bartender you want serving you on those nights when you're looking for a place to relax with your friends while drinking a cold beer. Or a 46-ounce Tank. Seriously. When I asked Franco what drinks are most popular, she laughingly pointed out the list of Tank options and explained that it was a plastic goldfish tank filled with booze.

We asked if these were meant to be shared, and she said you can, but most people get one for themselves. There are several different options to choose from for only $15.50, and they all sound pretty tasty (and terrifying). You even get to keep the fishbowl as a souvenir when you're done. You know, so that after you black out the night, you'll have a vague reminder that something fun happened.

Franco also likes to make shots, and her current favorite is a fruity, girlie one that hits like a bazooka. "I call it the Bubblemint, because it tastes just like the gum," she explains. A blend of Three Olives Bubblegum Vodka and Rumplemintz, it tastes amazing, gets you buzzed, and leaves your breath minty-fresh. I have a new favorite shot.

Franco has been making Tanks and Bubblemints at Velvet Melvin Pub (3303 Richmond) for about six months now, though she's been bartending all around the city for the past six years. She prefers bars to clubs for both working and patronizing. "I don't like dressing up and being around too many people," she explains.

Instead she prefers the quiet chaos of the Melvin, where she has regulars who walk over from their nearby homes as well as a steady stream of newcomers. Come by on a Tuesday night when you can get shots of Tuaca and Jagermeister for only $2.75. Or bring along a friend and see if you can take down a Tank .

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