Miss Mix-a-Lot

Katy Mitchell spends work, playtime at the bar

She doesn't light the bar on fire, but bartender Katy Mitchell still manages to have fun while bartending at Dill Street Bar & Grill.

Mitchell, a 21-year-old Anderson native, has worked as a bartender at Dill Street since winter 2001.

"I did it for the fun and the money," she said.

Mitchell only works one or two days a week, depending on her schedule as a telecommunications major, but manages to pull in enough money in tips to keep her going. But she stresses that being a bartender is not an easy job.

"I trained my first day on the job, after that I was on my own," she said. "I'm supposed to know (what's in a drink), just because I'm a bartender."

But Mitchell confesses that she doesn't know everything.

"Sometimes I have to look it up," she said

Not everyone can do this job. Mitchell gets to work around three in the afternoon, and doesn't usually get home until 4 a.m.

"It takes a lot of patience," she said. "It's stressful sometimes ... it keeps you on your toes."

Twelve hours is a long shift for any job, but Mitchell manages to keep busy during the down time.

"There is always something to do," she said. "When I come in I take down the chairs, clean the bar, restock the cooler, whatever needs to be done."

Customers don't show up in mass until after midnight, she said. According to Mitchell, Dill Street is a "finishing up bar." Customers may bar-hop in the village, but they end up at Dill Street.

"By then everyone has their buzz, they want to dance," Mitchell said. "Dill Street is definitely the place to come for dancing."

Thursdays in the fall there are live bands, and during the summer a disc jockey fills in. Dill Street's two levels are usually always full, she said.

Even with a large crowd, there are never any real problems, Mitchell said.

"There have been a few times when people have had too much to drink, but most people respect the rules."

At 7 p.m. on a Friday, there are only two people at the bar.

"Friday night is our slowest night," Mitchell said. "Dill Street's busiest night of the week is penny pitcher and $1.50 you-call-it night on Wednesday. People come in earlier that night."

College students frequent Dill Street, but penny pitcher night brings in people from all over the city.

"We have a lot of regulars, but we sometimes get older people in here on Wednesdays," she said.

Filling endless pitchers of beer may seem easy, but Mitchell has to be on her toes.

"Most people come in for beer, but every now and then a martini drinker will show up," she said.

When Mitchell isn't serving up Coors Light, she is busy mixing drinks and making shots. People looking for something different can ante up to the bar and ask.

"We don't get a lot of weird shot requests in here, but they can look at our list," she said. "The Red Snapper is our most popular shot," Mitchell said. A red snapper mixes Chambord and contreiou.

"Sometimes people come up to the bar and ask if they can buy me a shot," she said. "Of course, I have to say no."

Mitchell gets her fair share of admirers at Dill Street, but so does her boyfriend, who is also a bartender at there. But her boyfriend doesn't mind the attention she gets.

"We joke about it," she said. "A lot of people ask me to dance."

When she's not working at Dill Street, she can be found there on her nights off making up for the times she doesn't get to dance when she's working.

"I love to dance," she said. "I always come here, always."