Meet Your Bartender: Kelly O'Neill of Buffalo Wild Wings

Kelly O'Neill, a Buffalo Wild Wings bartender, pours a beer for a customer.
Kelly O'Neill, a Buffalo Wild Wings bartender, pours a beer for a customer.

The only job Kelly O’Neill has ever really known has been bartending, and she wouldn’t want it any other way.

O’Neill, of Lake in the Hills, has bartended at Bufflalo Wild Wings in Algonquin for roughly 11 years. She’s been in the bartending business for more than 30 years. 

She started waitressing at age 19, then became a bartender at age 21.

“I just love it,” she said. “I’m an outgoing person. I have a lot of energy. I’m a very good multi-tasker, and you’ve gotta be a little silly sometimes. You’ve got to be able to talk to everyone, to make them feel comfortable, make them come back. . .

“It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. It’s what I do.”

Let’s meet O’Neill.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS IS ... a great place for wings, cold beer and sports.

OUR MOST POPULAR DRINK IS ... We’re most a beer place. We have 20 beers on tap, including Game Day beers that change every 4 to 6 weeks.

MY FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE IS ... probably a margarita or a Long Island Iced Tea.

THE DRINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW HOW TO MAKE IS ... a Rum and Coke or a Bacardi and Coke. We do have a good Sangria here too. 

A CUSTOMER SAYS, ‘SURPRISE ME.’ YOU GIVE THEM ... I make a really good margarita. We do have good Mojitos for the summer.

YOU CAN GET ON MY GOOD SIDE ... by being friendly and being not too much in a hurry or demanding.


THE WORST THING I’VE EVER SEEN SOMEONE DO IN A BAR IS ... My gosh, I don’t know, fall or a couple fighting, if they’re like the only two at the bar and I have to try to avoid them. I see it all. 

THE STRANGEST THING I’VE EVER BEEN ASKED IS ... I’ve been asked out a lot. I don’t date customers. It’s just my policy. I’m pretty much an open book. I’ve been here 11 years. The customers know everything about me. 

THE BEST CURE FOR A HANGOVER IS ... water and exercise.

WHEN I’M NOT WORKING ... I spend a lot of time with my son. I’m a homebody. On the weekends, I like to ride my bike, go to movies, see live bands. 

YOU CAN FIND ME BEHIND THE BAR ... every Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. 

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