Olando “Opie” Patterson, bartender at The Oak Table, grew up in the Earlewood neighborhood, right behind the Lutheran Seminary. His face should be familiar to many in Columbia; he was the manager of Goatfeathers in Five Points for almost 18 years. Patterson, along with Sean Tapley, also from The Oak Table, will be participating in the Farm to Table Bartender Challenge at City Roots on Sunday. He says his biggest competition will be Andy Haddock at Terra (Patterson call him his nemesis) and Josh Streetman at Motor Supply Co.
EAT: The Oak Table, because the chefs know what they are doing, and the bone marrow is really good. Villa Tronco, which has been around forever; Bourbon and Terra. Patterson likes the neighborhood feel of The Kraken, a family-owned gastropub in Rosewood. And his go-to is Village Idiot in Five Points for pizza.
DRINK: Likes his spirits straight up or on the rocks, nothing fancy. Over at Bourbon, bartenders Kat, Alice and Liz make great cocktails. A lot of folks might think Bourbon is a hipster spot, but it’s not really; it’s really a great cocktail bar. Patterson also likes Art Bar, where everyone is welcome. “I’ve seen every type of clientele, patron and future friend there.”
PLAY: He likes to take his dog, a 10-year-old stray, to Riverwalk Amphitheater for good long walk along the park’s winding trails; likes Stronghold Gym for a workout; River Rat to hang out and relax.
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MUSIC: Because he works weekends, it’s hard to get into the live music scene, but he’s trying. Patterson saw a good show at Wild Wing in the Vista not too long ago and wants to try out Music Farm.
SEE: Hangs out at Nickelodeon because they have great films there. Trying new places, Tazzo Grill in Trenholm Plaza, because of the wine list. Likes to head to Old Shandon for walks. When he’s feeling nostalgic, Earlewood Park and the Pigeon Tower (now called the Eau Claire Community Center) in Eau Claire. Heading out of Columbia on Bull Street, toward 277, the tallest spot on the left is the Community Center. That used to be the highest spot in Columbia.
If you go: The Farm to Table Bartender Challenge at City Roots begins at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20; www.eventbrite.com.
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