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Charles in Charge

Gay glitterato gets a grip on the science of competitive bartending.


Charles Haislah dusts off his cocktail-mixing talents tonight as he competes in the Battle of Celebrity Bartenders. The 34-year-old board member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Center of Greater Cleveland will try to raise money for the agency by peddling his specialty Cadillac margaritas, with Grand Marnier liqueur, Cuervo Gold tequila, triple sec, and mango juice. "I'll do my rendition of Tom Cruise with my juggling act," laughs Haislah. "We'll see how many bottles I can drop." Each Tuesday until April 15 at Cocktails Cleveland, a guest mixologist will work the bar to sell as many drinks as he can. When the contest ends, the club will match the highest weekly cash total and donate it to the bartender's chosen charity. Some of the contenders include drag queen Ramona West, a rep from the gay magazine Exposé, and bartenders from fellow gay bars Twist and Apex. While Haislah isn't counting on many margarita pours in the man-heavy watering hole, he's banking on a beer rush to help him score the matching money. "Just keep your fingers crossed that I don't spill anybody's beer or poke anybody's eye out with a bottle cap," says Haislah. "I'll just have to rely on my personality and smile." Let the games begin from 9 to 11:30 tonight at Cocktails Cleveland, 9208 Detroit Avenue. Admission is free. Call 216-961-3115.
Tuesdays, 9-11:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through April 15, 2008

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