Kat Hunter, a transplant from Gainesville, Fla., has been a fixture behind the bars of some of Columbia’s favorite places to belly up and enjoy cocktails for more than 13 years.
After stints at Goatfeathers (now Goat’s) in Five Points and Art Bar in the Vista, Hunter now serves up bourbon, whiskey and craft cocktails at Bourbon on Columbia’s Main Street. She uses her love – and collection – of antique cocktail books to design cocktails with owner Kristian Niemi.
Hunter has won Columbia’s Avion Margarita Challenge and the Jager Spice Cocktail Bartender Challenge at City Roots Farm. She was also invited to MG Road Bar & Lounge in Asheville, North Carolina, to participate in a one-night guest bartender exchange.
I am a vegan, so I do not eat out a lot, but my go-to is Lambs Bread on North Main. Everything is delicious and prepared well. I also love going to Motor Supply. Their daily local menu allows them to work with me on dishes. Baan Sawan in Five Points is also one of my favorites.
When I get off work, I usually head down to The Whig before I go home so I can say hi to Will Green. If I have the night off, I will head to the Art Bar or Motor Supply. Josh (Streetman, of Motor Supply) is one of my favorite bartenders, and he pairs his cocktails well with dishes. I also will go to Goat’s to see Opie (Olando “Opie” Patterson) behind the bar and chat over drinks.
When I am off, I like to go to the Riverwalk and skate. I spend a lot of time visiting various antique malls around town. This is where I find my collection of old cookbooks and bartender books that I create and pull ideas for cocktails.
I love the arts, and two of my favorite places are 701 CCA and Columbia Museum of Art. I love going to their openings and exhibits. When I get a chance, I will shoot out to First Thursdays on Main; it is my favorite event.
When I am not listening to old jazz or various other music, I like to go to New Brookland Tavern and Art Bar for live music. I try to catch The Can’t Kids whenever I can.