1870 Mag

Barkeep Confessional: Kyle Butson

Bartenders come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Who’s to say who is best equipped to give you what you need when you sit down across the bar? Bartenders. Professional babysitters, part-time psychologists, and a drunk’s best friend in the moment. When you need to know the best spots to get your drink on around campus and who to chat up while you’re there, we’ve got you.

What’s the craziest or weirdest thing you’ve seen as a bartender?

I saw a kid who was so drunk he threw up into his beer glass, but he was so hammered he drank it still. That was right over there in that corner actually.

What’s the best way to get your attention on a busy night?

The best way to get my attention is probably eye contact. Waving your card just makes me not want to serve you. But probably the best way to get served quickly on a busy night is to come in when it’s slow and get to know your bartender, get good rapport. Waving your card is just annoying, but still have your payment method ready.

On the opposite side, what’s the worst way to get your attention on a busy night?

Screaming, yelling, throwing your money, yelling your order out. Anything like that, waving your card. Those are probably the worst ways to to try to get served when it’s busy.

What’s one song that is overplayed at the bar?

Ooh. There’s a lot. Right now, I would probably say “Mo Bamba.” I’ll hear that probably 4 times a night.

What’s your go-to cocktail lately?

I like whiskeys a lot, so I’ll drink Jameson neat or Bulleit Rye neat. Sometimes I’ll have them with a ginger beer, that’s a good mixer.


What’s your go-to beer lately?

I’ve been drinking the Bodhi double IPA lately. It’s a CBC beer, Columbus Brewing Company. I also like the Land Grant 1862, I’ve been having that lately.

Kyle (left) and our writer, Kevin, enjoyed a beer together during the interview. It’s surprisingly hard to pull this off and not spill beer on yourself. Photo by Collins Laatsch.

When you aren’t at Fourth Street, what bar are you typically found at?

I’ll go to some bars in the Short North. I used to work at Pinthouse, so sometimes I’ll stop in there but really Ethyl & Tank is my go-to bar. And RIP The O, you’d still see me there if it was around.

And when you aren’t drinking at all, what do you like to do with your free time?

I watch a lot of sports and do a lot of fantasy leagues with my friends. I’m from the Toledo area so I’m a big Detroit fan, but I’ve been in Columbus for about 7 years now so I’m a Blue Jackets fan too now.

Speaking of sports, Fourth Street is a super popular bar for Crew fans after the game. How excited are you that the Crew is officially staying in Columbus?

As a Crew fan I’m obviously really happy, but we are all a little disappointed about them relocating. I’m sure we’ll still be a big bar for Crew supporters, but we won’t be as close to the stadium so we won’t be getting as much business from people after the games.

If you could grab a drink with anyone—dead or alive—who would it be and what would you two drink?

I would probably say my dad’s dad, my grandpa Butson. He just traveled and played country music in dive bars; and there was a period for a few decades where my dad didn’t see him or hear from him, and when he found him he was doing the same thing–just traveling and playing country music in dive bars down in Florida. We’d probably drink Jim Beam or Bud Light.

Finish the sentence: Fourth Street is the best bar on campus because…

The people that come in here are as diverse as our beer selection; our happy hour is unbeatable: half-off from 3-8, Monday-Friday; and Fourth Street is home to a lot of people.

Know a bartender that should be featured next? Shoot us an email at editor@1870mag.com!

Feature photo Collins Laatsch.

Kevin Keaton

Kevin Keaton


QB1! Congrats, @justnfields.

Sorry I didn’t give my number to you at the involvement fair

I’ve had feelings for this guy since the end of last year, and I think I’m gonna make my move soon. Wish me luck twitter.

Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

Jen Coon so hot

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