While she was in high school, Amanda Havier worked in retail at clothing stores in the mall. However, once she turned 18, her brother was able to get her a serving job working at Ruby Tuesday. It didn’t take long for her to move her sparkling personality from the floor to a spot behind the bar, where she thrived. “I just fell in love with it and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Havier says.
120 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
These days, Havier works at the cozy Philadelphia establishment called The Gaslight. Located near 2nd and Market, The Gaslight is directly across the street from Philly’s famed old-fashioned ice cream parlor, The Franklin Fountain.
“It’s a quiet little bar owned by Chef Jason Cichonski,” Havier said. “It’s really just a nice easy place to come and hang out. The music’s never too loud and we have a very small staff, so everyone gets to know all of the guests really well. We have a lot of fun.”
Not only was The Gaslight’s GSLT Burger recently chosen as being one of “The 10 Best New Burgers Around the U.S.” by the Huffington Post, but the bar itself was cited as one of “10 Philadelphia Restaurants with the Best Outdoor Seating” by Philadelphia Style, while chef and owner Jason Cichonski was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef.”
When asked what the draw of The Gaslight was, Havier thought for a moment before answering.
“I would have to say it’s the coziness and the food,” she said, citing their $5 shot and shuck, a whiskey from an East Coast oyster chaser. “Also, Jason lets the bartenders take the lead on the cocktail menus, so a lot of those drinks are our own creations. The way it works is we think of something, then we have a meeting where we all sit down, make the drinks and tweak them to perfection.”
Though the bar enjoys many regular visitors, Havier has the opportunity to meet people from all over the country with wildly varied backgrounds and stories.
“As a bartender, you really do wind up developing relationships with everybody who comes into the bar,” Havier confessed. “That was something that definitely surprised me a lot about the profession. I genuinely care about everybody that I’ve gotten to know at The Gaslight.”
Her years of experience have also given her the opportunity to fine tune her summer drink creations and selections. Of the many options available at The Gasligh, Havier says the two that can’t be beat are the Pineapple Cilantro Margarita and Gaslight-created “Leave the Bottle.”
Pineapple Cilantro Margarita
- 1 oz Pineapple Puree
- 1 oz Lime Juice.5 oz Lemon Juice
- .75 oz Simple Syrup
- Pinch of Fresh Cilantro
- 1.5 oz choice Tequila
- .75 oz Cointreau
- Shake and strain over ice
“The Pineapple Cilantro Margarita is a recipe that I came up with a few months ago and it’s been a huge success. It is also great without cilantro for people who aren’t a fan of the taste.”
Leave The Bottle
- 1.5 oz Rye Whiskey
- .5 oz Lillet
- .5 oz Lemon Juice
- .5 oz Smoked Simple Syrup
- Shake and serve garnished with an Orange Peel
“This one is a cocktail off of our new menu at The Gaslight. It is our chef-owner’s favorite and his personal creation.”
Allen Foster, a lifelong Greater Philadelphia resident, has been writing about all those wonderful things that make us feel so alive for over 20 years. He approaches each day as an adventure, eager to discover what new and vibrant surprises await just around life’s corner. You can see his work on Examiner.com.