Bartender Chat: Frank Moore of Gravitas

Frank Moore knows a thing or two about booze, such as when it is an appropriate time to drink. "If it's a day of the week that ends in the word 'day,'" he says, "it's a good day to drink." So it makes sense that he's been bartending for more than ten years. On a beautiful Monday afternoon, EOW found him tending bar at Gravitas's Sidebar (807 Taft), where he is also a manager and sommelier. Over some delicious cocktails, including a fresh lemonade spiked with strawberry vanilla vodka and a cherry cocoa nib whiskey-infused Old Fashioned, Moore entertained us with stories about his time behind (and in front) of the bar.

"I like to keep things simple," Moore explained in regards to his drink recipes. "Once you start getting too many ingredients, you start losing the flavor." That philosophy is evident in his outstanding cocktail creations, but what does he like to drink personally? "I'm a lush," Moore said. "I'll drink anything. Except water."

When we asked where Moore likes to hang out on his downtime, he not surprisingly named a few bars. "Anvil will always be one my places," he said, also naming Beaver's and Grand Prize. In fact, Moore was the first person to go through all 100 of Anvil's "The List" cocktails. Though it was no easy feat, considering that certain drinks are only available on certain days and in limited qualities, Moore managed to get through the whole list in 26 days, and that's with taking off three whole days. The Tom & Jerry (rum, brandy, egg, nutmeg) is one of his favorites, but it's only available on special occasions.

Sipping cocktails and munching on bar snacks in Gravitas's cool Sidebar is definitely an excellent way to spend an afternoon. And if you're lucky enough to be served by Frank Moore, then you are guaranteed to be entertained the entire time as well.

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