Courtney Smith, 27
Chris Krsteski, 32

Café d'Mongo's Speakeasy
So, you're a bartender? Is that what you call yourself?

COURTNEY SMITH: I call myself a lot of things. But when I'm here, that's what other people call me.

You call yourself a speakeasy. What secret activities are engaged in? 

CHRIS KRSTESKI: I try to raid my dad's stash of moonshine and keep that here at all times. Ryan Gosling came in here two weeks in a row. We did a shot with him, and he killed, like, three bottles with us. Larry [Mongo, our boss] brought it out. We got ruined. Brought out another one the next time he came back, and another one. Started jamming on the piano. He was totally cool. He started playing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" on the piano.

What's the city's drink?

CS: I have a drink I like to make — the Detroit Brown. It's whiskey, Vernors [ginger ale], bitters, and a secret ingredient. People in Detroit drink a lot of ginger ale.
CK: We have another one called the 1439 — that's our address. That's just Captain Morgan and Rock & Rye.

Morgan and what?

CK: Rock & Rye. It's a Faygo. It's a Detroit-based soda.

You guys seem really into soda.

CK: We call it pop.

What do you know about drinking that the rest of us don't?

CK: One of the things people love is seeing their bartender doing a shot with them. "No way! He can drink?"

Why do people go to a bar?

CS: When you're at a restaurant, you're not getting up from your table, saying, "Nice tie. Let's talk."

Read the full article HERE on Esquire!  


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