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A Seat at the Bar: Megan Miller, Fancy’s on Fifth

Some of the city’s best bartenders dish on favorite drinks, relationships, and why they love the bar.

A Bessemer native and Indian Springs High School grad, Megan Miller moved back to Birmingham in 2004. She had gone to Washington University in St. Louis for college and lived in that city for about a decade, working in advertising, waiting tables in restaurants, and working as a musician singing and traveling with bands.  

Back in Birmingham, she started working in the restaurant and bar scene here, running the whole gamut from sports bars to dive bars to casual restaurants and fine dining. “Most people recognize me from my time at On Tap at the Galleria, Mafiaoza’s in Crestline, Primeaux at The Summit, and, of course, Fancy’s on 5th in Avondale.

“I was hired for Fancys on 5th before they opened, and that is the first place where I have gotten to be a part of the creation from the ground up. Owners Paget and Harriet have been the most supportive bosses you could imagine and have really let me be free to create something special and different.”

Miller’s goal with Fancy’s has always been to provide a high-end experience with top notch products, without any pretension. “We serve a wide range of guests from all sorts of backgrounds, and I strive to make each one feel like they have found their home spot. 

“I am a storyteller by nature, so at my bar you’ll always get dinner, drinks and a show. I pride myself on getting to know my guests and their palettes, so I can make suggestions to enhance their experience. My passion for my craft, Fancys and my guests is no secret. I love getting rare bar finds and sharing them with my guests the way they were meant to: with friends, food and great conversation,” Miller says.

“Personally, my favorite cocktails are brown and stirred. But at Fancys, I can not ignore the power of my feature margaritas. Each week for Tequila Tuesday I come up with a fun feature margarita for the week, and it’s insane how many we sell. My Blood Orange Hibiscus Margarita is probably the most requested cocktail we have. 

Blood Orange Hibiscus Margarita

1.5 oz Espolon Blanco

.5 oz Patron Citronge

1 oz fresh squeezed lime

.75 oz Blood Orange juice

1 oz Hibiscus Cordial

.25 oz pineapple juice

As ingredients to shaker with ice and shake shake shake. Rim glass with salt. Pour shaken cocktail into glass. Garnish with a line wheel and saved hibiscus flowers from cordial.

For cordial: Make a simple syrup with 1 cup sugar & 1 cup water. Once sugar has dissolved add 1/2 cup dried organic hibiscus flowers and let steep for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then filter the flowers out and you are left with a beautiful bright red hibiscus cordial. Keep the candied flowers to use for garnish. 

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