Farewell to Krishna
There will soon be a void in Cleveland Park: Bartender Krishna Ramsundar is leaving Aroma after seven years of mixing martinis, dispensing advice and being the ringmaster of a true neighborhood hangout.
He's not going to be bartending anywhere else for a while -- he's going back to school to get a degree in communications and computer science, and taking care of "family issues." After illnesses in his immediate family, Krishna says he has "a deep-rooted desire for change in my life." Great for him, but not so good for those of us who appreciated his cocktail wizardry.
I have a hard time thinking of a bartender who's gotten more praise from the City Guide staff and Got Plans? readers over the years. With just a few quick questions -- Do you like your drinks sweet or bitter? Fruity or dry? Rum or vodka? -- he can divine a person's tastes and whip up an elixir to match. It was usually something you hadn't ever tried, or even thought to have asked for, but it was almost always perfect. Then he'd tell you the story behind the drink.
That said, Krishna's talents lie not only in his encyclopedic knowledge of drink recipes, but in his people skills: Remembering what his customers like and who they're dating, introducing people on neighboring barstools and saying "You guys should chat," and always being ready with a joke or really crazy story.
We first introduced Krishna to the D.C. community in April 2001, when he was washingtonpost.com's Bartender of the Month. He'd been on the job for a little over a year, but he was already showing signs of becoming a D.C. legend. Through the magic of the washingtonpost.com Wayback Machine, here's that article. April 2001 Bartender of the Month: Krishna Ramsundar.
Krishna will work his final shifts tonight, Oct. 12; Sunday, Oct. 14; Monday, Oct. 15; and Friday,
Oct. 20 Oct. 19. Stop in for a final cocktail and handshake, because Cleveland Park -- and this city's cocktail scene -- will not be the same.
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