The Shanty / Mike Vitiello
213 Third St., Eureka
As the old saw goes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the land of the occasionally blind drunk, one wants a just and kind ruler who blends the power of exile with the promise of fair treatment in the sacred pursuit of a good time. Mike Vitiello at The Shanty is one such leader.
"Any monkey can pour a drink," Vitiello tells me, after pouring this monkey one. "But a real bartender has to control the bar, make sure everyone is having a good time. This is a comfort zone for my customers: no fights, no intolerant language, no creepy behavior. I want everyone to feel safe and have fun. If I didn't work here I'd be drinking here myself."
Simple words and a righteous ethos. All hail the king.