Keifer Gilbert is no stranger to the hustle. At one point this past year, he was tending three bars — three of the city's best, in fact — at sister restaurants Crudo and Okra, and weekends at Counter Intuitive (as well as participating in food and beverage events around town). He left Crudo briefly, but only because Counter Intuitive was opening its own sister spot, the tiki-slinging UnderTow, where he began the hustle once again. That's a lot, given that there are usually dozens of original drinks on each menu and only seven nights in the week. But far more to Gilbert's credit than sound memorization and tight technique, though, is his sense of friendly, good-natured bartending.
You've seen the other side of the coin too many times: some of the most charismatic bartenders found guilty of building too much momentum in a night, struggling to find the line between sparking the party and becoming the party themselves. Gilbert, however, nails it. He's appropriately attentive, earnest, and upbeat — it's obvious he's having fun, no doubt about it — but so are you. That's the most important thing. He knows it and tends to it.
Young, hungry, and hospitable, Gilbert certainly has a great year behind him, and an even brighter future ahead as he continues to develop his personal style and tastes at two of the city's very best.