Jen Marquez of Mercato talks about attaining work-life balance and the best girly cocktails.
From our July Crime & Justice issue.
So, what brought you here? I’ve always liked it. It’s a very pretty bar and I know Alfredo— he’s a great guy. He used to come into my old job at Kildare’s when I was bartending there.
What’s the difference? I like the family and business-professional crowd at Mercato more, and I have better hours for my schedule. I work Tuesday and Friday nights from 6pm to midnight. And I really like the environment at the bar, and the drinks and apps. Drinks are really fun to make. I really like the social aspect and being creative on the job.
Have a favorite drink? I would say the espresso martini. It has Crown Royale with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, cocoa whipped cream, and espresso. Towards the end of the night, you’ll be wide awake! My favorite drink to make that we feature is a white chocolate cherry martini. It has Godiva white chocolate with Baileys Almond Liqueur, vanilla vodka and Amarena cherry juice.
Favorite food on Mercato’s menu? The Margherita Pizza! It’s good.
Had you always wanted to bartend? I’ve always done it; I’ve been doing it for 16 years. I’m from Orange County in Southern California and worked at a bar for 10 years there. Then, I moved out here when my boyfriend wanted to move. I was ready for an adventure, too! West Chester was on my short list of places I was willing to move to.
Why West Chester? The nightlife drew me in. In a college town, there’s so much going on. It’s a cute, little town. It’s absolutely beautiful in Pennsylvania. It’s a nice place to live. After I moved here, that’s when I started bartending at Kildare’s. But, I didn’t know what winter was like!
Want to read the whole interview? Check out our July Crime & Justice online or pick up a copy around the borough!