Bartender Tony Falbo earns

Apr 242002
Authors: Matthew Hamm

With so many bars in Fort Collins, many people may have a difficult time deciding where to go for a drink and a good time. For those that haven’t visited Elliot’s Martini Bar, there’s a good reason to: Tony Falbo.

Falbo, one of the bartenders at Elliot’s, was recently named in a poll in The Rocky Mountain Bullhorn as the best bartender in Fort Collins.

“We have established a pretty regular clientele. Each of us (bartenders) have a pretty regular following each night we work and when you work in one place for 10 years, you tend to get known,” Falbo said.

He has worked at Elliot’s since the bar’s opening in 1997 and, until recently, also worked at Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont. Falbo came to Fort Collins in 1992 and began working in the kitchen of the Mountain Tap Tavern, no longer in existence, where he quickly worked his way up to bartender and has been enjoying this passion ever since.

At Elliot’s, Falbo is one of only three bartenders on staff who have all worked there since the bar’s opening.

“Whoever is working the bar that particular night is sort of the ‘captain of the ship’ and can run the bar the way they see fit. With only three of us here, there is a lot of flexibility in terms of how to approach the job,” Falbo said. “When I work I tend to stick to a relaxing atmosphere with a lot of blues and jazz playing. This is a place where people can have good drinks in a comfortable setting.”

He has learned to treat bartending with the same philosophy as he lives his life.

“I tend to keep things light, maintain some level of humor and make sure that everyone is having fun,” he said.

For those of you who may not know where to begin when it comes to martinis, it is not as complicated as it may seem. There are two basic types of martinis served at Elliot’s: the classic martini and the creative martini.

The classic martini is just gin or vodka, sometimes with a bit of vermouth to cut the taste of the alcohol, although Falbo swears adding vermouth is the quickest way to ruin a martini. Different classic martinis then have varying types and amounts of vodka and gin in them.

There are many varieties of creative martinis served at Elliot’s. The creative martinis have different ingredients added such as exotic fruit juices and combinations of flavors to change things from a more traditional martini.

In addition to martinis, Elliot’s serves a variety of local microbrews and has a large selection of wine available by the glass.

What drink does Falbo prefer?

“I usually stick to a good microbrew or a nice bourbon,” he said. “When I do have a martini, it’s either a straight vodka martini or maybe the Aphrodite, which is made with gin and a mixture of orange and vanilla vodka.”

With all the different choicesof alcohol available, it’s a wonder how the bar selects which alcohol to carry in order to create their signature combinations.

“We carry only quality booze, with few exceptions of what you need to have. We have a pretty good relationship with our distributors, and they are pretty quick to let us try new things, because people come here to try new things,” Falbo explained.

Elliot’s Martini Bar is located at 234 Linden St. in Old Town. You can find Falbo working there Monday and Tuesday nights. n

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