After a lot of long nights, polls, and recommendations we finally have our first official “Best Bartender in Amarillo.!” It wasn’t an easy one to decide.

Congratulations to our winner, Nikki McDaniel!

Charlie Hardin/Nikki McDaniel

Brief sidebar; she suggested the selfie. Nikki had more confidence in her picture taking ability than in mine.

I had never been to the Broken Spoke before this. Besides having the best bartender in Amarillo, it has its charm and honestly, I love the place.

When I walked in, Willie Nelson was on the jukebox. Off to a good start. I picked a spot at a lonely corner of the bar and observed.

For a weeknight, the place was packed. The bar was busy. That didn’t slow Nikki down, who would inform me later in the evening that she has been doing this for 11 years. Always nice to be in the care of a seasoned pro.

Nikki was quick making sure everyone was taken care of. No long waits, and it didn’t take long for her to notice me at the lonely corner.

She came over with a big bright smile and asked, “What can I get you to drink, honey?” I smiled, ordered a Jack and Coke, and waited.

In no time, she was back with my drink and it was fantastic. Not too much or too little of the ol’ Tennessee. She came back to check on me a couple of times. When she did, she didn’t let on that it was because it was her job. Nikki never let go of that smile and didn’t just scurry away as fast as possible when I said I was fine. She took her time without dawdling.

When I was done, I light a cigarette and wondered how long before she would come back to check on me for the refill.

It wouldn’t take long at all. She had my drink refilled in no time, all while checking in with other customers and smiling that big smile. Never in a hurry, but never taking too long.

After my second drink, it was time for the big reveal. Even when I was trying to explain to her she won, Nikki had that big smile on and was nothing but pure attentiveness.

First, I highly recommend the Broken Spoke. Good drinks. Good service. George Jones on the juke.

Second, be sure and look for Nikki and tell her congrats on the win. She’s the best bartender in Amarillo.