Brightening days from behind the bar


    With five years of serving experience as a foundation, Kayla Bickford made a move behind the bar and she hasn’t looked back since.


    While she’s only been bartending for a few months, Bickford said she already absolutely loves the change of pace from serving life.

    “I’m very personable and I feel like the atmosphere at the bar, rather than serving tables, you can actually sit there and have conversations with people and learn a lot about them and be able to hear about their lives and tell about yours and it’s nice,” said Bickford.

    “I could talk all day, everyday,” she added with a laugh.

    Bickford began her bartending career at her previous job, then followed her general manager over to Simko’s Grill as a bartender in their new location at 1311 Route 35 South on the Belmar/Neptune border.

    According to Bickford, ever since the opening it’s been packed every night and the outside patio is now open for business, as well.

    During Bickford’s chats with her customers she’s been hearing a lot of great feedback on the new location.

    “Everybody loves it, she said. “They say the food’s great, they love the drinks, love the happy hour. We do $5 appetizers and discounted drinks so people are really happy about that also.”

    Bickford adds the outdoor patio with both a bar and tables for dining is beautiful, especially at night when they turn the lights on.


    Bickford puts as much passion into crafting cocktails as she does into her interactions and friendly conversations with customers and her favorite drinks to make are ones with fun presentations and allow for creativity.

    “I love making margaritas … On the rocks, frozen, the blue margaritas with the Blue Curacao, everything,” she said.

    “I think that’s just because I like tequila,” she added laughing. Martinis are also top on her list of favorites.

    “I like fun drinks like that, that get served in the hurricane glass even like sangria and stuff because it’s fun,” adds Bickford. “You get to pick what you put in the drink and how you decorate it to make it look attractive. So that’s definitely a fun part of it.”

    Bickford loves shaking up various martinis while making sure to chill the glass to perfection. The Pulp Fiction Martini starts off with Sobieski Orange Vodka followed by orange juice and grapefruit juice garnished with an orange slice.

    Stop in and find her behind the bar Wednesdays through Sundays, she’ll be looking forward to meeting you and serving you up a cocktail and a smile.