Cocktails

Behind the Bar: Chase Crain at Bar Smith

Flairtending occupies a realm of its own in the bartending world -- there's fire, alcohol, flips, spinning and juggling. Chase Crain has spent a good part of the last two years learning the craft.

"It makes people wanna know your name" he says. "'Using attitude,' I like to call it."

The 24-year-old bartender and bar manager puts on a show every weekend at Bar Smith, the downtown bar and restaurant that turns to a nightclub when the sun goes down. He and another bartender, Richard King, flip, juggle and light bottles on fire -- still somehow managing to pour and mix drinks in the process. Once in a while, King even blows fire from the top of a lit bottle.

Alcohol and fire. Not exactly a safe combination. But that's exactly what it's about, really -- danger, exhibition, indulgence -- everything that makes for an exciting night at the club.