For CFHS bartenders, fun mix of spirit, spirits

A group of high-energy moonlighting mixologists – including a surprise guest – invited the public to belly up to the bar at the Brandywine Brewing Company (BBC) Tavern and Grill in Greenville, De., on Tuesday, April 5.

CFHS board member Steve Liberace awaits his turn behind the bar.

CFHS board member Steve Liberace awaits his turn behind the bar.

The occasion was the Second Annual Guest Bartender Fundraiser for the Chadds Ford Historical Society (CFHS), an event that enabled patrons to support their passion for history and their thirst for spirits.

An enthusiastic group of amateur mixologists, including CFHS board members and area business owners, collected tips throughout the evening that went directly to the society. In addition, the BBC donated 10 percent of the bill for those who ordered food.

Earlier in the day, Kendal Reynolds, CFHS’s board president, announced that Michael Connolly, formerly of the New Castle Historical Society, would begin as the society’s executive director on May 2. But Connolly didn’t let his start date interfere with Tuesday night’s festivities.

This year's Guest Bartending Fundraiser includes a host of coveted silent auction items ranging from paintings to restaurant gift certificates.

This year's Guest Bartender Fundraiser includes a host of coveted silent auction items ranging from paintings to restaurant gift certificates.

Sporting a CFHS Tavern Talks t-shirt, Connolly deftly juggled glasses and beer taps during multiple stints behind the bar.

“He’s having a great time,” said his wife, Tracey Connelly, as she watched the action.

Nadia Barakat, who retired as executive director late last year, was on hand to offer support. She said when she left the position, she suggested Connelly as a potential replacement.

CFHS Board President Kendal Reynolds poses with

CFHS Board President Kendal Reynolds poses with Debbie Ashley.

“He’s just amazing,” she said. “I’m just thrilled. There’s so much positive momentum, and I’m so excited for the future of the society.”

Reynolds said Connolly, who has already attended a board meeting, had recommended Allison Schell, who was hired in August as the CFHS’s program and development manager. “I think he’s going to be great,” Reynolds said.

She said the guest bartending opportunity at the BBC is so popular that the CFHS had to book it almost a year in advance. For 2016, the society added a silent auction, which prompted some competitive bidding for coveted items that included a Williamsburg getaway, restaurant gift certificates, local artwork, gift baskets, and Eagles tickets.

Sara Liberace (from left) and Suzanne Schurr chat behind the bar during a brief lull in their bar wench duties.

Reynolds said proceeds from the event  will go toward the ongoing restoration and upkeep of the society’s two historic houses, the c. 1725 John Chads House and the c.1714 Barns-Brinton House.

Anyone unable to attend the event who wants to support the historic homes can mail a check payable to the Chadds Ford Historical Society to P.O. Box 27, Chadds Ford, Pa., 19317, or online here.

 

 

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