As Westword's Ask the Bartender columnist, I've talked with many bartenders for Cafe Society's "Behind the Bar" series, posing numerous questions to Denver's top bartenders...and often receiving the same answers: "I love chartreuse," or "I'm really into smoked cocktails/barrel aging/bottled cocktails."
Some time ago, a Facebook friend posted 25 things about himself that most people weren't aware of -- and then he tagged me in the post, at which point I was supposed to do the same: rattle off 25 little-known facts about myself and ask someone else to follow suit. Instead, I'm asking Denver's bartenders to get up and close with Westword readers and share 25 lesser known tidbits about themselves -- and then name the next bartender that I should interview.
Hi- dive, which opened about ten years ago, has since become a hotbed for great local music and independent acts, and whenever I walk in, I get the feeling that the crowd parties together often. Not surprisingly, the energy centers around the barstaff, a crew that seems to know everyone; they keep the party going. And even though I don't go there all that frequently, they always make me feel like I'm a regular. J.J. Hilger has tended bar at Hi-dive for three years, and he's key to their sense of community. In his list of 25 things that you may not know, he admits that he fears potato bread, hates a word that describes a certain color and has never chewed bubblegum.
1. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
2. When I was five, I sleep-walked out of a window and broke both legs. I was never supposed to walk again.
3. My biological parents are both deaf.
4. I could use sign language when I was a baby.
5. I've never tried bubblegum.
6. I collected everything when I was a kid.
7. I was adopted when I was eleven years old.
8. I thought I was allergic to tomatoes until I was twelve.
9. I was the only freshman to start on varsity football at my high school.
10. Potato bread scares me.
11. I played professional basketball in the Philippines for Jesus.
12. I have preached Sunday morning church services.
13. I was in a full-time touring band called the Prime Time Heroes.
14. I couldn't grow a beard until I was 23.
15. I can slam dunk.
16. I've only had two girlfriends.
17. I play in a party rap group called Cobraconda.
18. I hate the word "beige."
19. I love playing roulette.
20. I'm no good at roulette.
21. I didn't try a hotdog until I was 25.
22. I've been at the Hi-dive for three years.
23. Luke Fairchild and I are the same person.
24. The Princes Bride is my favorite movie.
25. I'm a huge sports fan.
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Missed one of my interviews with a Denver bartender? Read the rest of them below. - 25 things you never knew about Luke Fairchild, bartender of Lost Lake Lounge - 25 things you never knew about Brandon Forrester, bartender at the Skylark Lounge - 25 things you never knew about Dwight Long, bartender at My Brother's Bar - 25 things you never knew about Ken Kodys, beverage manager of Breckenridge-Wynkoop - 25 things you never knew about Brian Smith, bartender at the Squeaky Bean - 25 things you never knew about Kade Gianetti, bartender at Linger - 25 things you never knew about Melissa Durant, bartender at Acorn - 25 things you never knew about Steuben's bartender Ryan Layman - 25 things you never knew about Chad Michael George, bartender at Williams & Graham