Meet The Bartender: Kait Van Zandt

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Name: Kait Van Zandt
Bar: Billy Jack’s
Hometown: California, specifically San Diego area
Fun fact: There’s such a wide array of things, I have no idea. I want to like read other people’s facts.

Q: Why bartending?
A: I was working within my major for archaeology and it just wasn’t really paying much and the project ended and I got a job here. I’ve worked in restaurants before and I moved up to bartending, it’s fun.

Q: How long have you been doing so?
A: A little over a year.

Q: Why Harrisonburg?
A: I love this town. I like how small and close-knit it is, at least in the downtown scene. And then I like to leave the city and go hike in the mountains, I like outside. You can do anything around here, especially during the summer.

Q: Favorite part about being a bartender?
A: I just like chatting about beer, and it’s fun to make the drinks and be busy. I like to keep on my toes while I’m working. Otherwise, I don’t know, I’d get too sleepy.

Q: Favorite beer?
A: That is a really tough question. Actually my favorite beer that I’ve ever had is by Terrapin. It’s the Samurai Krunkles, it’s a limited release a couple years ago. So, I’ll probably never have it again. It’s brewed with ginger and green tea and l think rice, like jasmine rice. It was really good. It tasted like green tea, just jasmine green tea.

Q: Favorite thing on the menu at Billy Jack’s?
A: Chicken and waffles.

Q: Tell us a memorable story from your time at Billy Jacks.
A: I don’t know. I mean there’s like the Saturday nights and stuff when you’re dealing with a bunch of drunk people who are just really annoying sometimes. There’s lots of weird stories like, you know, throw up in some random spot and you have to send someone to clear it up. But, I don’t know.
Like, when today I had a guy that kind of walked in and we’re talking about “oh it’s awesome we get to drink three PBRs and it’s less than 10 bucks.” But we don’t have it on draft today. So he’s like, “well, OK, I’ll have a more expensive one.” And then after his food came out and everything and he paid, he tipped me 100 percent of the bill. Like it was $20 and then he tipped me $20. I was like, “What? I thought you were strapped for cash.” I like that surprise.

Q: When you’re not at work you’re doing what?
A: Outside. I’m really into caving, there’s a bunch of caves around here. Thousands actually in Virginia.

Q: Favorite song?
A: Althea by Grateful Dead.

Q: Movie?
A: Better Off Dead.

Q: If you could go anywhere, where would it be?
A: I’ve kind of always wanted to go to the Netherlands and just stand in a big field of tulips. Or New Zealand just because it’s so beautiful.