Kim Koechig celebrates the first birthday of Saloon 151.
How long have you been working here? Saloon’s only been open about a year, and
I came in about a month after that, so almost from the beginning.
Is this your first bartending gig? I worked at Barnaby’s, but this is my first time really behind the bar regularly.
How do you like bartending compared to serving? Oh, I love it! I mean, I also loved serving, but you get to know people a bit better with bartending.
What shifts to you work, and do you have a preference? I’m there Sundays through Wednesdays, daytime, with a double on Tuesdays, so a bit of both. And honestly, I like both. During the day you have more time to talk to people, but nighttime has its own crazy vibe, and it’s kind of fun to run around.
What’s your favorite thing about the restaurant business? There’s something so fun about how it changes every day. It’s something that I don’t think I’ll get tired of.
What do you think sets Saloon 151 apart from the other bars in town? It has a different personality to it. It’s kind of like a laid-back, country bar; people have told me that they feel really welcome as soon as they walk in. And when it comes to bartending at Saloon, we keep it simple—we try to do fresh squeezed juices, and our whisky selection speaks for itself.
Do you have a favorite menu item there? I switch it up pretty much every day. Our menus—drink and food—are always evolving. To me, the Caprese Salad and the Brisket Quesadilla are amazing.
Brisket quesadilla? You’ve got my full attention. It is heaven—a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I have it at least once a week.
Do you serve food all day? Yes, we have a full menu from 11am to 10pm, and a smaller late-night menu for stragglers.
What do you like to drink when you’re having one? Believe it or not, I’m a big fan of a good Old Fashioned.
Is there anything else I should know? We’ve got a new Watermelon Mimosa that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Oh, we’re adding smoothies this summer—soon you’ll be able to get a spiked smoothie here! So refreshing.
That sounds excellent. Could I get one without the alcohol? Absolutely!
What do you during your down time? I like to get outside. We have great parks and preserves around town. I like to go to and take a hike with my dog, Holly.
What’s your long-term goal? My dream would be to travel and document the people I meet through photography,
painting, or writing. I know that’s not particularly specific, but I like to leave room for things to grow. The best things seem to happen when you’re open to changing the plan.
Photo: Andrew Hutchins
Interview: Kate Chadwick