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Profiles of Huntsville's bartenders: Rachael of Bison's Bar and Grill

Rachael, happy to be working
Rachael, happy to be working
Erin Hilliard

Whether you’re a newcomer or a frequent patron, everyone who visits Bison’s Bar and Grill, located on Madison Blvd., knows that Rachael is the woman you want behind the bar. Not only is she a kind and wonderful person, extremely polite, very respectful, and can make a mean Bloody Mary or Margarita, but she stands her ground and won’t take any guff from anybody.

Rachael is one of the best bartenders in twon. She knows what you want and gives it to you quickly. For example, at Bison’s, beer mugs are frozen, which in chunks of frozen beer–there’s no reason to have to chew your beer. Not being a fan of this myself, Rachael always makes sure to serve my beer in a mug that hasn’t been frozen, even if she has to go look for one in the back, talk about being responsive to your customers’ needs and requests.

I spent some quality time with Rachael in the evening of January 12 to find out more about what makes this mixed drink maven tick. I wanted to get to know and understand her a little better so I could share with my readers what an enjoyable experience it is at Bison’s when Rachael is taking care of you.

How long have you been a bartender?

About 5 years

Why did you decide to become one?

For the money

What do you like most about bartending?
Being on your own, as in not having to rely on other people to get your job done

What do you like least about it?

Grown people (mostly men) that expect other people to buy their drinks for them

What’s your favorite beer and your favorite mixed drink?
A good Hefeweizen and either a Bloody Mary or a Margarita

As a bartender, what’s your favorite place to hang out at besides Bison’s?
Big Ed’s Pizza, they have the best pizza in town and Crossroads because they have good bands that play there

What is your ideal night out?
A steak dinner followed by good drinks with good friends

Would you recommend bartending as a job to other people?
Sure, if you are someone who likes staying busy

What are the most necessary skills for a bartender to have?
Knowledge of drinks, knowing how to count a liquor pour, and making sure you keep mugs and bottled beers cold

What’s your worst experience as a bartender?
Getting in the middle of dumb rednecks fighting
So how many bar fights have you witnessed and have you personally been in one?
About 6 and no I haven’t been in a bar fight

What is your best experience as a bartender?
Bartending at Lost Bay Bar and Grill in Lillian, AL because of the location – I had a beautiful view of the bay

What’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten?
$50 on a $10 tab, so 500 percent

What’s your opinion on the 2am alcohol shut-off?
I think that it’s a good idea because by 2 in the morning 90 percent of people have been drinking too heavily and don’t need anything else to drink

What do you think about dry counties?
They’re losing out on revenue from alcohol sales to surrounding counties

Ever have anybody try to use a fake ID on you?
Once or twice

Any bartending secrets that you would like to share?
My secrets are my own

Who are your favorite regulars?
Too many to name basically the ones with good personalities who are not demanding and know how to tip well

What is the most unique place that you have ever worked?
The Orleans at Perdido Key, FL; the wait staff would sing to the customers, it had an awesome dance floor, and a great stage for bands to play on and there was a nice lounge area in the loft, but sometimes you’d catch people in the act...

People were actually caught having sex up there?

Any last thing that you would like to add?

Come on down to Bison’s and see me for a good Bloody Mary or a Margarita (they’re my specialty) or a cold beer.

Visit Rachael yourself...

Bison’s Bar and Grill
8020 Madison Boulevard
Madison, AL 35758-2019
(256) 772-4477


  • Ray 5 years ago

    Sounds like you had to drag that interview out of her! That's not surprising for most bartenders though. You have to soften them up with a good story to get them talking. Unfortunately they're all not like the bartender in Kenny Chesney's song, The Good Stuff. LOL

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