10.5 min readBy Published On: June 17th, 2012Categories: Features114 Comments on Southie’s Best Bartender

Bottoms Up!

They mix a mean mojito, pour the perfect draft, and make you feel like your the most important person at the bar.  We asked you to nominate your favorite and here are our ten finalists!  Now it’s up to you to vote for your favorite!  Polls will be open until July 18.   (To vote – click the link at the bottom of this article.)

top two photography images by Deb McCarthy





John Mayer – Local 149

How long have you been tending bar?
I’ve been in the hospitality industry since 2000. I started as a
server, but like most servers I was kind of into alcohol. I’d jump
behind the bar any time someone gave me a chance. I became serious
about my beverage studies in 2008 as a full time bartender after a
brief career in music.

Favorite part?
I live three blocks away from Local 149 and most of our guests come
from nearby, which means I get to serve my neighbors. Introducing my
neighbors to cool drinks and giving them an awesome experience is why
I do this.

Favorite drink to make?
Whatever makes someone happy. I personally favor strong drinks that
are all booze (generally tequila or mezcal), no citrus or other
mixers; but that’s not every person’s cup of tea. If you don’t say
“hell yeah” at the first sip, I don’t like making the drink. That
said, I’m mighty fond of the “1836”; Añejo tequila, Campari, Sweet
Vermouth and xocolatl mole bitters served over ice.

Weirdest request?
Pumpkin beer on a 90 degree day in August. To me, that’s like curling
up to a fire on a snowy night with a watermelon and listening to the
Beach Boys.

Do you get hit on?
Only when I keep my left hand out of sight. Remember I live three
blocks away, which means that my wife does too. It’s probably best to
keep that ring out in the open.

When do you work?
Generally Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights as well as Sunday brunch.

Kelly Cantore – STATS

How long have you been tending bar?
I have been bartending for around 6 years.

Favorite part?
My favorite part would have to be no early mornings…

Favorite drink to make?
 A Stoli vanilla white Russian with a splash of Doctor McGillicuddys.  Very popular on Sunday Funday!

Weirdest request?
The weirdest request for a drink, I have ever gotten was a guy asked for a glass of white milk… Strange!

Do you get hit on?
I work at stats, everyone that works at stats gets hit on..

When do you work?
I work Monday doubles, Thursday nights, Saturday nights, and Sunday Funday brunch. Come visit!!

Stephen Tallent – The Cornerstone

How long have you been tending bar?
10-12 years
Favorite part?
Being a father of two young kids working Saturday nights has become my night out. So being able to yuk it up with my friends while still being at work is probably what gets me in there every Saturday
Favorite drink to make?
The one I make for myself after last call!
I’ve invented a few different shots, so I guess they’d be my favorite to make.
Weirdest request?
On a slow day shift I had a guy offer me $100 to punch him in the face. That was a win-win.
Do you get hit on? 
Sure I’ve been hit on a few times but I don’t think those ladies that cross the bridge from The Pine Street Inn are too picky.
When do you work?  
Saturday Night. 6pm to closing

Eddie Downs – The Atlantic Beer Garden and The Playwright

How long have you been tending bar?
My bartending anniversary is August 30, 1980 – it will be 32 years this year.  I  started at The Farragut House working for Joe and Alice Toomey.
Favorite part?
Being able to socialize and make a few bucks to help with two college tuition bills.
Favorite drink to make?
I love pouring a pint of Guinness
The new weird request?
A side of pickle juice with a Jameson Whiskey shot.
Do you ever get hit on?
It’s been a very long time since I’ve been hit on.  Even the beer goggles fail to help
When do you work?
I work every Monday and Wednesday night ay The Atlantic Beer Garden, and every Tuesday and Friday at The Playwright. 

Kim Sweeney – Touchie’s Shamrock Pub

How long have you been bartending?
Almost eight years
Favorite part?
Definitely my fun, crazy customers
Favorite drink to make?
Pink panty droppers
Weirdest request?
Someone always asked for his bottled beer to be shaken. Not sure why 
Do you get hit on?
My second favorite part of bartending!
What are your shifts?
My shifts change. Always Saturdays but could be during the day or the night




Mark Medico – L Street Tavern

How long have you been tending bar?
I have been bartending since 1986, 36 years, I guess that makes me old.

Favorite part?
My favorite part is the money and socializing with the customers.

Favorite drink to make?
My favorite drink to make is a Manhattan, extra sweet with a little cherry juice, I also don’t mind drinking them once in a while.

What the weirdest request?
Weirdest request was David McDonald ordering a Zima with grenadine and another customer Barry drinking white zinfandel with amaretto.

Do you get hit on?
The stronger I make the drinks the more I get hit on.

When do you work?
I work at Woody’s L Street Tavern on Wednesday and Sunday nights.

Mike Shaw – The Whiskey Priest

How long have you been bartending? 
6 short years.  I started while I was living in Arizona and California, where there is a much more casual approach to being in bars.  It was a great place to learn the business and I have taken that mentality back to Boston with me.  I try to make sure that everyone who walks into Whiskey Priest feels like they are just kicking it with an old friend and are in a comfortable environment. There is nothing worse than a rainy day, and second to that is an impersonal, stuck up, stiff bartender. I try to find something in common with everyone that walks in the door, and a great two minute conversation goes a long way.  
Favorite part?  
The best part about bartending is that I get to hang out with great people everyday.  I’m terrible at excel, so I am basically worthless in any cubicle job, so this suits me pretty well.  We have an awesome mix of regulars and tourists at the Priest so I get to spend time around some familiar faces, and then thousands of people who got lost looking for the freedom trail and Cheers.     
Favorite drink to make?
Easy answer would be a Bud Light bottle!  Or as my co-workers would like me to say, a Friar Tuck.  But I’ll go with the “Matt Sivright”.  It is an even mix of bombay gin, simple syrup, a few squeezed lemons, shaken like crazy, and topped with soda water.  Like Matt, it is a strong drink with a soft sensitive side.   
Weirdest request?
While I was working at a bar in California some lady I had never seen or met left her kid at the bar.  Intentionally.  Less of a request and more of a very weird 20 minutes.  She still owes me for 20 minutes of baby-sitting.  
Do you get hit on?
I am 5 feet tall with the nose the size of a football.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) getting hit on isn’t one of my distractions at work!

Peter Cipriani – Franklin Southie

How long have you been tending bar?
I’ve been bartending for 18 years.

Favorite part?
My favorite part is shooting the shit and laughing.

Favorite drink to make?
My favorite drink to make is the one that will make someone happy.

Weirdest request?
I was once asked of me my attitude toward donating my half of a zygote for another couple.

Do you get hit on?

When do you work?
I work Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at the Franklin Southie.





Karen Attardo – Amrhein’s

How long have you been tending bar?
12 years. I’ve worked at a lot of different types of bars & restaurants on the south shore over the years, but I settled into Amrhein’s five and a half years ago.

Favorite part?
My favorite part about bar tending is the social aspect of it. I don’t like to sit at a desk or on a computer. I like to be around people and constantly be moving. Even if your having a bad day when your behind the bar you pretty much have to smile and be social the whole time. I also work with one of my best friends on Tuesday and Saturday nights.  There’s a lot of practical jokes and goofing around. We love to get the customers involved!  They call it the Karen and Lisa show! Working at Amrhein’s is a lot of fun.  We have great food, a comfortable & beautiful atmosphere, an awesome staff, and the best regulars & customers than any bar/ restaurant I have ever worked at!

Favorite drink to make?
My favorite drink to make would be a Bud Lite (just kidding) :) I like to play around with drinks. I have regulars that come in and tell me to make them something, whatever I feel like. So it’s constantly changing. But if I had to pick one that everyone always loves, it’s a martini called the antioxidant. It’s Veev acai berry vodka, pomegranate juice, fresh lemon juice & a splash of simple syrup. I put a few blueberries on a drink stirrer and lay it right on top of the martini glass rim. It’s so pretty and tastes amazing.

Weirdest request?
I could write a book about the weirdest or strangest requests I’ve had over the years. Recently though I have this guy that keeps asking me to watch his dog for him while he goes on vacation, and he is dead serious!! It’s weird! I’m a bartender not a doggie daycare!

Do you get hit on?
I think anyone that works behind a bar gets hit on. Sometimes it’s flattering and sometimes it’s a little creepy. I take it all in stride, boys will be boys! No matter how old they are! I prefer the funny guys, you don’t need pick up lines if you can make a girl laugh!

When do you work?
My shifts at the bar are Monday lunches, Tuesday night, Friday night and Saturday nights. I also am a makeup artist so in the summers I have a lot of weddings on Saturdays but 9 times out of 10, I’m there!


Tim Malley – The Seapoint

How long have you been tending bar?
I‘ve been bartending about 15 years.

Favorite part?
My favorite part is that I get to come into Southie every week. I grew up there and I love seeing the regulars and the newer customers. It keeps me connected to my home town.

Favorite drink to make?
My favorite drink to make is a Bloody Mary. If you want the best Bloody Mary I recommend coming by the Seapoint on Sunday in the day when I am working.

Do you get hit on?
I used to get hit on but not as much lately. I tell myself its because they somehow know I’m married. But I do flirt. Especially after I was told by my wife that its ok if it gets me tips.

Weirdest request?
The weirdest request I can think of is when I was asked if we could make a cheese pizza without the cheese and extra sauce



  1. Murphy's June 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Where’s Mike Doran on the list?

  2. Anonymous June 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm
    Mike Doran is a doofus
  3. julie toland June 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm
    Steve tallent
  4. Maria Steelman June 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    You’re the Best!

  5. Melinda June 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I’d like to vote for Mark Medico! 

  6. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 12:16 am

    My comment exactly, Where is Mike Doran! I’m writing him in for Best Bartender!

  7. Matt Elder June 28, 2012 at 12:16 am
    Mark Medico is the man!
  8. Amy June 28, 2012 at 12:29 am
    Lisa Gregorio – the corner tavern
  9. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    Where are Kevin and Andruis? Best team I know of behind the bar in Southie. Pretty nice to look at too!!!
  10. kelley June 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm
    Vote for Karen Attardo Amrheins!!
  11. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Mike Doran all day.

  12. R. Cignarella June 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I vote for Eddie Downs from the ABG and the Playwright! Where is the supposed link at the bottom of the article though????

  13. Tallent is the Best June 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Funny how no female bartenders from the Cornertsone are on here, I know why they force me to drink elsewhere they are so bad, However Steve is great I look forward to getting out of work and have a few drinks with him , Best in Southie by far!

  14. Stephanie June 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    We have great bartenders in South Boston!  Some are on this list and some are not…If I am going by the 10 best…….(you are all great) I think all but one have waited on me… :) and you did an awesome job.

    My vote has to go to Mark Medico!  I think he is awesome and we always have a great time when he is working and I love going to Nunzio’s for a cold drink in the summer months.  He puts his heart and soul in his job and there is never a dull moment.

    Timmy Malley is my runner up…he makes the best bloody marys on Sunday for Sunday Funday at Seapoint!

    Mark, when is that elevator getting fixed?

    Best of luck to all of you… you all deserve to be named Best Bartender in South Boston!


  15. Mary June 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    Best bartender in Southie !
  16. Alexis June 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    Mike takes the cake for the best bartender back in az and here in Boston!
  17. Mike Doran... June 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    …Actually has to be able to bartend to make the list.

  18. Tara June 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Kim Sweeney!

  19. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Kelly Contore

  20. Anonymous June 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm
    How is Chris myers not on this list he’s a stud
  21. Patti Suleski June 29, 2012 at 12:25 am

    It takes one to know one!  I’ve tended bar in Southie  as well as a 5 star Hotel in the South End.  Tim mixes the BEST Bloody Mary, and you’ve got to come in to try one, and meet Tim in person!  Having great people skills as well as mixing any drink you’d like, quickly and with taste, are just few of the many skils Tim Malley has!  Love you, Tim!

  22. Patti Suleski June 29, 2012 at 12:26 am

    It takes one to know one!  I’ve tended bar in Southie  as well as a 5 star Hotel in the South End.  Tim mixes the BEST Bloody Mary, and you’ve got to come in to try one, and meet Tim in person!  Having great people skills as well as mixing any drink you’d like, quickly and with taste, are just few of the many skils Tim Malley has!  Love you, Tim!

  23. Shannon Kennedy June 29, 2012 at 12:35 am
    Kelly Cantore is my vote for sure! She is the BEST!
  24. Anonymous June 29, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Doran #1

  25. Anonymous June 29, 2012 at 2:10 am
  26. Jarvis Fletcher June 29, 2012 at 6:49 am
    kelly cantore
  27. nick June 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

    mark medico is the best hnads down better then an of these other people

  28. Betty Wentworth June 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Mark Medico is the man !! “The Best Bartender “

  29. Tim Malley June 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    “Thats right”  haha

  30. Brian Quig June 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Always has a Frosty Glass and answers to my sport Questions.

  31. Kate June 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm
    Mark medico!!
  32. Edna June 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Hands down my vote is for Karen Attardo at A’z

    She makes the meanest Oxi,  Pink Leomanade’s and many other cocktails,

    also fun & energetic.

  33. Mike June 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Mark Medico is the best bartender!

  34. Anonymous June 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    MARK MEDICO!!!!!!!!!

  35. Glendog June 30, 2012 at 1:09 am
    Sweeney Brings The Heat
  36. RAW June 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    What about the Junction?
  37. Sammy June 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Solid and skilled bar tender and a hell of guy who really takes the time with his guests. Not to mention his booze knowledge is second to none!

  38. Anonymous July 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm
    Women can’t make a good drink. Keep them in the kitchen..
  39. patti-anne July 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Comment written by Patti-Anne

  40. Michelle Norton July 3, 2012 at 12:46 am

      I I

     I vote for Mark Medico!

  41. Michelle Norton July 3, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I vote for Mark Medico! 

  42. Jean Driscoll July 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I vote for Eddie Downs!


  43. CLG July 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    For best bartender!
  44. Alex Dale July 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    Kelly Cantore hands down!
  45. Anonymous July 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Tallent’s the best by far

  46. T July 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Tallent is the best.

  47. Fat Mike D July 5, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Were is fat Mike D and his tee shirt from baby gap
  48. Anonymous July 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    Peter Cipriani
  49. Ann Chinchilla DeGeorge July 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Peter,… Peter,… Peter,..

  50. Butch Fleming July 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    You Got This Tim Go “REDSOX”

  51. Fuzzy July 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Peter Cipriani – Best ever – bar none.

  52. Michelle July 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Steve Tallent is hands down the best bartender in Southie! He has my vote

  53. Kevin Youkilis July 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm


  54. the8thdwarf July 8, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Without a dought it’s Karen Attardo at Amrhein’s. She the best of all, and cute too.

  55. South boston vote July 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm
    Mark Medico all the way!
  56. Anonymous July 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm
    Mark medico!
  57. Angela Long July 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm
    Mark Medico!!!
  58. Anonymous July 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Pete Pete Pete

  59. Jonnie Law July 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

    and without a doubt knows his shit, but I gotta toss my vote in for Pete Cip:  that fella has seen the Boston drinking scene evolve and has moved with it, all with a smile and a witty quip.  Plus, he saved me from a rabid pack of marmosets, but that’s another story.

  60. Cupcakes July 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    Eddie downs
  61. Sara July 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Mike Shaw is my fav!  Such a great personality along with great drinks, perfect combo :)

  62. milt July 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    karen attardo is gorgeous, friendly, sociable & a fun bartender. Her & Lisa do put on a great show & make my visits to Amrheins totally enjoyable. I try & hit on her everytime but she tells me she’s too young for me. Since when did 75 become old?

  63. Greg July 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    Peter Cipriani. Hands down. No question.
  64. Anonymous July 14, 2012 at 2:43 am
    karen attardo
  65. Anonymous July 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Karen Attardo is the best bartender.

  66. Bobbi sullivan July 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm
    Karen attardo at amrheins
  67. Linda Daley July 16, 2012 at 12:27 am
  68. Anonymous July 16, 2012 at 2:21 am

    If I can’t vote for Brian Leard, then I say that Steve Tallent is the best and has the best smile.

  69. Hal Kitzmiller July 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Is this poll on the up and up? My family and I were having some beers in the yard and my cousin Gabe Kitzmiller mentioned that Stephen was involved in this contest. So we all got out out Iphones to vote for Tallent but his number of votes stayed the same. Langerhans was there too and he voted on his phone too but Stephen always had the same number of votes…

  70. Steve TALLENT July 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Best Btender is Southie! Bar None!

  71. Aida Morales-Rivera July 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Awesome bartender! My vote goes to him!

  72. southiekid July 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    the waterfront shouldnt be included in the southie paper let the yuppies do thier own survey like they do every thing else on their  own

  73. Sully July 17, 2012 at 12:01 am

    i dont vote yuppie… its only southie people who are they grewing up bro!

  74. Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Karen Attardo

  75. Gary Walker July 17, 2012 at 2:22 am
    All Bartenders are good, but Steve Tallent us the best.
  76. Elizabeth July 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    My vote is for Steven Tallent

  77. Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    Big ed
  78. Joe Leeman July 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    LInda Leeman pours the best drink, great personality, always friendly!!!  She has my vote

  79. JimmyMac July 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm


  80. Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    Eddie d
  81. paul July 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Karen Easily

  82. Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm
  83. Pam July 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm
    Karen Attardo is the best bartender hands down.
  84. Susan Linehan-Rooney July 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Great Bartender worked with her for 4years.  Makes great drinks and has a  awsome  personality.. Very hard worker….God luck Karen!!!!!

  85. kevin norcross July 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Hands down the best there is!

  86. Ericxross July 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    Kelly gets my vote
  87. Jo-Ann July 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm


    Come on with a name like Tallent it’s a given! 

  88. larry bird July 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm
    He is the man
  89. DAVY CURRAN July 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Best Bartender in Southie … Karen Attardo

  90. Steve Tallent July 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Best Bloody Mary Ever

  91. B July 18, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Steve Connolly at the Quencher!

  92. Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Karen Attardo

  93. Jackie July 18, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Karen Attardo

  94. Nicole Bavis July 18, 2012 at 1:32 am

    STEVE-O ALL THE WAY !! He’s got Tallent!!!  ;p

  95. jim of South Boston July 18, 2012 at 2:28 am

    THe ultimate Best Bartender

  96. anon July 18, 2012 at 2:34 am
    Voting for Steve
  97. maria Steelman July 18, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I did the same thing, at my husbands office, the #’s stayed the same, I was shaking my head at it too. Later that night his numbers did go up – maybe there was some sort of lag some how.  Now I’m thinking Steve may have found the inside to that, over 700 votes, really?


  98. Al Koholic July 18, 2012 at 3:19 am
    My condolence to Kim Sweeney for the poor showing.
  99. Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Karen Attardo


  100. George Zipp July 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I believe this polldaddy has been hacked…..for 2 weeks I saw Steve Tallent winning the entire time, then Attardo was getting 10 votes a minute suddenly then other people started cheating just to keep up….This contest was a good idea and became ridiculous, shame on you cheaters

  101. Go Steve July 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    Steve Tallent you are the best! I am routing for you!
  102. M July 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    Agreed she is awesome!
  103. M July 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Steve Tallent you are awesome!!!!!!

  104. Tax Man July 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Attardo just added about 400 votes in a 10 minute span.  What good are these polls if someone can rig the system like that?  Boooooooo! 

  105. Disgusted Reader July 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I thought this was suppose to be a fun contest, I noticed Karen Attardo received 300 votes in one minute, I hope CIS will correct a wrong being done here, no class. 

  106. Maureen Dahill July 19, 2012 at 12:42 am
    no one is cheating! with this poll daddy poll the option is on vote per url. apparently karen is very popular!
  107. Kim July 19, 2012 at 3:21 am
    I’d say that Donnie Wahlbergs tweet helped her win. I voted for Tim. Maybe Karen can help the A (what yuppies call it) improve their food.
  108. Anonymous July 19, 2012 at 3:27 am

    https://twitter.com/DonnieWahlberg/status/225673393813467136  no cheat just good social media

  109. Wowozer July 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Donnie Wahlberg announced on his tweeter to some 300k of followes to vote for Karen Attardo, of course it aint fair for the rest but thats life huh…

  110. Kerri Elliot July 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    best bartender vote – stephen tallent

  111. Fanny Gildyclobber July 24, 2012 at 6:17 am

    gooooooo john mayer. he’s been nothing but brilliant since i met him at smith and wollensky’s a few years ago.

  112. jocelyn laplante August 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    the best bartender

  113. bartendertrainingsource July 16, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Kelly C. rocks! we bar back love her


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