Nicole Geer tends bar at Engel’s Pub, one of the oldest businesses in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Nicole Geer tends bar at Engel’s Pub, one of the oldest businesses in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Nicole Geer’s listening skills once netted her a $500 tip

Accounting wasn’t a good fit for this “super-friendly” person, so she switched to bartending.

Nicole Geer switched from accounting to bartending because she wanted to work with people, not in front of a computer. She now works weekdays at Engel’s Pub in Edmonds.

How long have you worked at Engel’s Pub?

I’ve been here seven months now; new ownership a little over a year ago.

Where did you work as a bartender before?

I used to work at Jersey’s Great Food & Spirits in Shoreline.

What’s your background?

I’ve been in business, earned a degree in accounting and built websites for local restaurants. I’m kind of a Renaissance woman.

Were you formally trained in bartending or did you just pick it up along the way?

I’ve worked (in the business) off and on since I was 19. I started as a hostess, then server and then bartender. I have about 19 years of experience.

What drew you to a bar in Edmonds?

I was looking for something local. I’m a Snohomish County girl. I grew up in Tampa, Florida. I’ve lived in the Edmonds area for nine years. It is the oldest pub in Edmonds — since 1936. There are a lot of people who have been coming in here forever, the biggest regular following of any place I’ve ever worked.

What kind of bartender are you?

Therapist/mom. I like to make people happy and have them come back. The most exciting thing about the job is seeing familiar faces.

Do people really open up to you sometimes?

A lot. I think that’s my strong point. I listen. I sit down and listen to your problems and actually care. If you need a hug or just come by and have water and talk to me about something on your mind, I’m OK with that.

Is listening to people second nature with you?

Yeah, I think so. I’m a super-friendly person. It just comes naturally. I think that’s why I got out of accounting. I sat all day staring at a computer screen. (Bartending) makes me happy.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened while you were bartending?

I had a new Honda Civic a couple years ago, and I got rear-ended really badly. One of my regulars tipped me $500 to pay my deductible. I didn’t want to accept. He left without me knowing. I looked at it and said, “Wait, that did not happen!” He wrote: “Best of luck. I hope you get your car fixed.” It was the nicest thing in the world. I always pay it forward, though. Every day I do a good deed, here or anywhere.

What’s your favorite drink to mix?

My favorite cocktail probably would be a whiskey mule: whiskey, ginger beer and mulled wine.

What’s your drink of choice when you’re not working?

Probably champagne. I’m not that fancy of a person, but champagne.

If you could serve a celebrity, who would it be?

Rick Steves, absolutely. He’s a local Edmonds guy. I was at the Super Bowl in Tampa and served (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers, but I would pick Rick Steves and hear about all the different places that he’s traveled … Maybe that will lure him in here.

What would you serve him?

I’ve heard he likes wine. He’s my local hero. One day I will run into him, I know it. But it hasn’t happened yet.

If you could choose a theme song for your shift, what would it be?

I would probably say something relaxing, maybe “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. It’s relaxing and chill.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

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