‘Pour Action’: Kim Sneed wins O’Charley’s Cocktail Cup championship

By SARALYN NORKUS Staff Writer
Posted 8/13/17

Out of 200-plus O’Charley’s restaurants nationally, it was a bartender from Cleveland who laid claim to the title of O’Charley’s Cocktail Cup champion.

Kim Sneed, who has worked at the …

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‘Pour Action’: Kim Sneed wins O’Charley’s Cocktail Cup championship

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Out of 200-plus O’Charley’s restaurants nationally, it was a bartender from Cleveland who laid claim to the title of O’Charley’s Cocktail Cup champion.

Kim Sneed, who has worked at the Cleveland eatery for the past six years, recently traveled to Nashville, where she competed against the best of the best of O’Charley’s bartenders in the first ever O’Charley’s Cocktail Cup.

“I’m the first winner, and I intend to be the second, third and fourth,” Sneed declared.

“I definitely want to go back and defend my title.”

Her trip to the finals began nearly three months ago, when she first beat out her competitors on a store level, then market and regional levels.

“I always tell them I’ve never won anything, so I was very surprised (to advance) in each round. Once the first three rounds were over, I was pretty confident going into the fourth round, and tried not to let my nerves get the best of me,” Sneed detailed.

In the final round, it was Sneed versus three other bartenders who came to the corporate headquarters in Nashville from Manchester; Bloomington, Ind.; and Alabaster, Ala.

According to bar manager Donald Kuhn, who attended the competition with Sneed, she was judged in numerous areas.

“They were brought out one by one to pour a drink and interact with the guest,” Kuhn explained.

“It was pour action, with how they interacted with guests, health and safety, beverage knowledge as well as menu knowledge.”

By the end of the final competition, it was Sneed who stood apart from the rest.

“For Kim to win was amazing. If anyone deserves it, it’s her — she comes in and works her heart out for me,” said general manager Tracy Welch.

“For her to actually have this honor bestowed upon her, I’m just extremely excited and happy for her.”

The Cleveland O’Charley’s now has a special plaque to hang in the restaurant, and Sneed was awarded $1,000 and a home bar kit.

For Sneed, who has been bartending for a total of 10 years, it is all just icing on the cake for a job she loves.

“My favorite part is taking care of people — putting a smile on their face and carrying on a conversation,” she commented.

“They can come in and be having a bad day and I’ll just try to make them feel better and listen, give them a drink and make them happy.”

Sneed can be found tending bar and serving up her personal favorite drink, the N’awlins Hurricane, at O’Charley’s Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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email: saralyn.norkus @clevelandbanner.com

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