This year's list of competitors represents some of the most creative minds behind the bar in Nashville:
Brad Bartels, Watermark
Michael Carter, The Palm
Eric Cooper, Morton's The Steakhouse
Charles Fields, Rumba
Riley Graham, Whiskey Kitchen
Bonnie Johnson, Cantina Laredo
Stephani Johnson, Prime 108
Sam King, Sperry's (Cool Springs)
Matt Proctor, 1808 Grille
Mike Reynolds, Sambuca
Ashley Thompson, 360 Wine Bar and Bistro
Each bartender will submit an entry in two categories, Best Martini and Most Creative Cocktail. Unfortunately, there will be no swimsuit competition. Three intrepid celebrity judges will don their protective knee pads and taste all 22 concoctions. Having spoken to one of last year's judges, frequent Bites commenter Beth Sachan, I know that this can be quite the grueling undertaking. Not like barbecue judge grueling, but still...
However, the pleasure must have been worth the pain, because Beth is returning as a judge along with Laura Bell Bundy, country music singer-songwriter and star of Broadway’s Legally Blonde the Musical, and Ty Brown from ABC’s The Bachelorette. Luckily, you too can join in the fun and sample the cocktails to help choose the People’s Choice Award. Guests will also enjoy hors d’oeuvres and live music for their $25 entrance fee. Admission at the door rises to $30, but don't count on that, remember?
The Bartender Bash is sponsored by Union Station Hotel, Grey Goose Vodka and Guardian Angel Driver Service, along with one of the local media outlets that SouthComm doesn't own yet, the good people at Nashville Lifestyles.
Thursday, Aug. 26
Union Station Hotel