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Bartender Lori McGinley makes a drink for a customer while working at The Village Squire in Crystal Lake. McGinley has been a bartender for seven years and her favorite drink to make is the French martini. (Sarah Nader -

“There’s nothing like the view from behind the bar.”

A bartender for seven years at The Village Squire in Crystal Lake, 27-year-old Lori McGinley loves her job. She’s seen and heard plenty, perhaps a little too much. But we’ll get to that later.

Despite some experiences she’d rather forget - one involving feet – McGinley said she enjoys most everything about her job, the people she works with and all of her regular customers. 

“It’s fun, definitely,” she said. “You meet new people every day.”

Today, we’re going to meet her.

Between serving up drinks, bowls of popcorn and a few lunchtime meals, she serves as the inaugural subject of our new PlanIt Pl@y feature, “Meet Your Bartender.” – Jami Kunzer

THE VILLAGE SQUIRE IS ... my favorite place to work. It’s a great place for people to come to because it’s so comfortable.


MY FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE IS ... the French Martini.

THE DRINK EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW HOW TO MAKE IS ... if they work here, the Mai Tai.

A CUSTOMER SAYS, ‘SURPRISE ME.’ YOU GIVE THEM ... probably a Mai Tai or, I don’t know, the drink special of the day.

YOU CAN GET ON MY GOOD SIDE ... just by being a friendly customer. I think you mostly would start out on my good side and maybe end up on my bad side.

THE WORST PICKUP LINE I’VE HEARD BEHIND THE BAR IS ... I have heard some pretty bad ones. ‘That necklace you’re wearing really compliments your eyes.’ Or just when they randomly blurt out, ‘Can I have your phone number?’

THE WORST THING I’VE EVER SEEN SOMEONE DO IN A BAR IS ... I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of bad things. I think the worst is when people are making out and are all over each other.

THE STRANGEST THING I’VE EVER BEEN ASKED IS ... I’ve actually gotten a phone call and someone asked if they could come in and smell my feet. I laughed and thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t. They wanted to pay me to smell my feet. (Her answer, by the way, was ‘No!’)

THE BEST CURE FOR A HANGOVER IS ... drinking again.

WHEN I’M NOT WORKING ... I’m usually hanging with my fiancé and our dog. I steer clear of this place because I’m always here. Right now, I’m planning for my wedding next May. 

YOU CAN FIND ME BEHIND THE BAR ... usually during the day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. I’m only here nights on Fridays.