Kelly Washam of Novak's in the Grove Mixes...a "Kelly's Candy" Cocktail

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Welcome to Girl Walks into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This is part one of Alissa Nelson's two-part profile of Novak's bartender Kelly Washam. Part two, a Q&A with Washam, will be posted tomorrow.

ALISSA NELSON
  • Alissa Nelson

Kelly Washam moves confidently behind the bar at Novak's, laughing carelessly but mixing drinks with precision, cocking one ear toward a regular while pouring her drink.

Washam's unabashed enthusiasm for the bar's patrons and staff is infectious. She is as positive and animated when talking about amateur drag night and bachelorette parties alike: "All different kinds of people just mesh well together here," she says. "Gay people, straight people, transgendered. Everybody just gets along here."

Is it possible the cocktails help lubricate the moving parts? Drinks like Washam's eponymous Kelly's Candy -- made with strawberry-flavored rum, sour mix and Chambord black-raspberry liqueuer, topped off with Red Bull and served on the rocks -- certainly can't hurt.

Click through to see a video of Washam mixing a Kelly's Candy...

Novak's Bar & Grill 4121 Manchester Avenue 314-531-3699

If you know of a bartender who's deserving of a profile, e-mail gutcheck@riverfronttimes.com.

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