Jamie Smith, bar manager at Fort’s Tavern, was voted best bartender in Lorain County, but she’s much more than just a friendly face behind the bar. 

Q: How long have you been working 
at Fort’s Tavern?
A: About 15 years. I started there five days after I turned 21. 

Q: What has been your favorite part about working there?
A: The people...they’re like family, and they make it easy to stay there even when things aren’t easy. 

Q: What’s your favorite drink to make?
A: The one I created over a decade ago. It’s called a Blue Star. It’s light, fruity and sweet. It’s a half shot of berry vodka, half shot of Blue Island Pucker, splash of triple sec, topped with sour. You can add a splash of soda water if you’re making the drink version rather than the shot.

Q: What’s your best bartending advice? 
A: Don’t focus your attention on people that you know or believe tip well. Multiple good tips outweigh a few great tips, plus you never know who might really need that smile or conversation. 

Q: What’s the most challenging part of bartending? 
A: Reading your customers. This might be as simple as reading the room and knowing what type of music to play or the trickier part of reading people’s body language. Knowing what is going on in the room without having to ask. 

122 W. Herrick Ave., Wellington, 440-647-3520, fortstavern.com