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Bars & Clubs

Best Gay Bartender 

Chris Baumgartner, the Hawk

Five nights a week, Chris Baumgartner single-handedly caters to the blue-collar crowd at the Hawk. Refusing a barback's help to wash glasses, clear tables, and empty ashtrays, the 32-year-old Youngstown native mesmerizes onlookers with his multitasking: He can mix his signature Purple Alaskan (equal shots of Southern Comfort, Jim Beam, Chambord, Amaretto, and OJ) with one hand, pour a pitcher of Coors Light with the other, and flash a gargoyle tattoo on his leg when prompted. "There's no rest for the wicked," says Baumgartner during an infrequent break. But the ex-nurse's aide is left dumbstruck when he's called out at times for being in a bad mood. "New customers say I look mean," he says. "But once they get to know me, they find out I'm a teddy bear."

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October 20, 2021

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