I love this job. Let me rephrase that, I love this gig. The word job
has implications of responsibility and of that, I’m not a big fan.
Writing these reviews has allowed me to meet some fairly interesting
characters, the type you usually run into in a dark alley under a full
It was walking into Serum (785 N. Jefferson St.) to get
some one-on-one time with Gil, winner of the Drambuie Nail or Fail
contest, that I met my match. He welcomed us into what he referred to
as his playground and asked us what we normally drink. To which we
said, a healthy combination of Red Bull vodka and Coors Light. Both of
which he scoffed at and then disappeared behind a makeshift workstation
that reminded me of paper folders children prop up during test taking
to hinder cheating. He struck me as a mad scientist, testing the
boundaries through potion making, but lacking in the world domination
agenda, only seeking to please his patrons and form a band of loyal
followers that appreciate his craft.
He served up “Paris Hilton,” his own variation of a “Blue Gill,”
and two shots of “Armageddon Pie.” (Go ahead, say it slowly.) Typical
Gil and his double entendres. He rocked out on the air guitar as I
savored fresh fruit garnishes and a cocktail that tastes as though I
swallowed a baby angel.
Gil: “By the way, I liked your review. So when are we going to take baths together?”
Me: “Oh my gosh, I’m supposed to be undercover.”
Gil: “Well, we can do it under the covers, too.”
I sat speechless and blushing like a teenage boy caught with his
pants down holding a nudey mag, a feat that hasn’t been managed for the
better part of a decade. I need to start wearing a disguise. Gil’s
condescending charm didn’t end there; however, as he demonstrated when
he squeezed my friend’s cheek and uttered, “you’re just so cute.” And
then he vanished behind the figurative curtain, working feverishly on
filling two ridiculously large shot glasses. I felt like I had been
swooped up by a Gil tornado and dropped in an R-rated Oz without the
ruby red slippers to save me. It looked like I would have to drink my
way out of this one. Lucky for me, it was Wednesday, and a beer and a
shot would only run me $6.
Should you drop by Serum and Gil isn’t working, don’t be
alarmed. He always leaves his bar in the capable hands of equally
appealing apprentices, some of whom I met and would probably remember
their names if Gil hadn’t made it his mission to get me faintly
intoxicated. It’s a good thing he offers special treatment for his
female customers and insists that ladies leaving his establishment are
escorted to their transportation. So if the idea of Serum’s Ladies
Night (Thursday) and the offer of $3 small cocktails and $3 shots
weren’t tempting enough, you also get the special sense of entitlement
usually reserved for Kim Kardashian. Win and win.
Just be wary of his “Blue Balls.” I almost choked.