The results are in! Who’s the best American Bartender?

After six weeks of serious drink slinging, the “American Bartender Competition” at McSwiggan’s has reached the ending. A dozen worthy competitors have smiled, poured, and danced their way through the six weeks of the competition.

Through it all, there were three bartenders that quickly rose to the top three slots – and pulled some terrific stunts to stay there. But in keeping with the same standards of American Idol, only one walked away a winner. Who is the best American bartender? Read on!

The top three

Not surprising, two of the top spots were held by two of Hoboken’s finest, Michelle from Oddfellows and Cory from the Madison. The other spot was held by Marc from Firewaters in Hackensack. Michelle worked hard throughout the competition. Initially, she was behind both guys until week 4 when with a Mardi Gras inspired theme, took the first place for Week 4 & 5.

Michelle’s fans came dressed in costumes to support their favorite, even doing a conga line in her honor. Cory has a loyal following in town. He consistently brought large groups of people to the bar and scored the highest points for Week 1 & 3. For the final showdown, his fans wore “Vote Cory” T-shirts to help tip the vote. Marc doesn’t know many people in Hoboken, but that didn’t stop him from bringing in regulars. His loyal following from Hackensack came in by the carload to help him out. Marc was consistent throughout the contest, keeping one of the top three slots all six weeks.

All that diligence paid off. He managed to pull ahead of Cory and Michelle by the numbers. For the last week, bonus points were awarded for the highest ring, which gave him enough to squeeze out the rest According to owner Aidan Boyle, it was a close race.

“The top three have been just great,” said Boyle. “I’d love to see them all win. It was really interesting to see what they did with it. The judges were really impressed with their skills.”

Grand prize

With a finish that will have people in Hoboken talking for weeks to come, Marc from Firewaters walked away with the 10k!

Because Boyle was so impressed with Cory and Michelle, they both were awarded a cash bonus for all their hard work.

Although initially they weren’t supposed to win anything, Boyle said that he couldn’t let them walk away with nothing. “I want to thank everyone for participating,” said Boyle. “Everyone was great – the bartenders, the judges, Budweiser, Cindy.”

Cindy Murphy, the event coordinator, agreed.

“Regardless of all of the stress and hard work that the competitors had to endure,” said Murphy, “each week all of the bartenders seemed to have a really good time. This is what made the competition worthwhile for everyone who participated.”

The next American Bartender Competition at McSwiggan’s, 110 First St., will begin in November. The contest will be held on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays for this round. For more information, call (201) 798-6700.

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