Chelsea McCallum of Somers started in the restaurant business the day she turned 16 because her grandfather ran a restaurant. With a degree in business management from University of Connecticut, she tried working in insurance but says it just wasn't for her, so now she's back in the restaurant business and bartending at the new Ted's Montana Grill on Front Street in Hartford.
Q: So what's it like being a part of up-and-coming Front Street?
A: Front Street is very cool. We're really excited for everything else to open up, especially Infinity Hall. They kept the historic theme of Front Street, and it's a cute, nice area of Hartford, and it will be close-knit. We're some of the first people here, so it's fun to be here to bring it back.
Q: Say you were having a party at home, what's your favorite drink to make?
A: Here at Ted's, we used to have the Buffalo Margarita. It was Bombay Sapphire gin, Cointreau and our freshly squeezed sour mix. It's amazing. People are always shocked at how delicious gin is in a margarita. It's fun to take the skills we learned here making fresh sour mix and using it at home.
Q: What's your favorite story so far in your year of bartending?
A: Honestly, opening this bar is one of the coolest things I've ever done. The other day we met George McKerrow, Ted's co-founder. Because of how much I love the restaurant industry, it was really cool to meet someone like him who is so involved.
Ted's Montana Grill, 35 Front St, Hartford, is open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Information: 860-692-1167 and tedsmontanagrill.com.