October 18th, 2007

Mr. Holland’s jocose

Sean Holland

Sean Holland was back on the stick temporarily last week at the Independent, a neighborhood restaurant well liked by Somervillians. Until he moved to L.A. in June to find fame as a musician, he could be found behind the bar at the Indo most nights of the week. What can I say? Scott and I miss the guy (sniff). As we settled onto our barstools for Sean’s guest appearance (filling in for the just-married Tanya — congrats!), I asked Scott what he was going to have and laughed when he said, “Whatever Sean wants. It’s his night.” Sean plunked a bottle of Saintsbury Pinot Noir and two glasses down on the bar, and off the evening went.

Sean’s a fine server, and I witnessed him hone his mixing skills on vintage cocktails, like the Gin and It, from the Indo’s smart drink menu. That he’s got some chops behind the bar is only the cake. The icing is that he’s highly entertaining, with a sense of humor that’s goofy on the outside and sharp on the inside. Sean and I are both from New Hampshire, and when I asked him once, without preface, which neighboring town he made fun of growing up, he knew immediately what I meant and answered, “Ossipee.” (Sean’s from Sandwich. For me and my fellow Gilford-dwellers, the town to mock was Belmont.) He has a knack for making you feel, even though he’s bringing you food and drink, like he’s just hanging out at the bar with you for some laughs.

Another knack of Sean’s is treating everyone with the same unaffected good humor. Some of the Boston-area’s most accomplished bartenders hang out at the Indo’s pub on their nights off. Sean never stooped to doting on them and forsaking other customers. And that’s one of the reasons they — and we — kept coming back.

Let us know when you’re making your next guest appearance, Sean, and good luck with the career.

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