Lots of people like going to their favorite bars and while I believe that people do visit bars they like, I also think that an equal amount of people go to see their favorite bartenders. A really good bartender can increase a bar’s business substantially. My newest Bartender Spotlight is on one of those star bartenders at The Phoenix. Jeff Seaver is hospitality personified. His charm, humor and fun-loving nature pull you in like a big bear hug.
Jeff moved to NOLA from Seattle, but grew up in Colorado. It was love at first sight with this city, he says. “I fell in love with New Orleans on my first trip a decade ago and she just kept calling me back. My visits increased every year until I finally made the move official in 2019.”
And our city is so much better for it. Jeff has worked at the Phoenix a little over two years now. “Before this, I bartended at Red’s Chinese and several gay bars back in Seattle – CC’s, Seattle Eagle and Queer Bar to name a few.”
Jeff is pure joy to experience behind the bar. He is attentive to his customers making sure your drink is always full. In addition to his cocktail making prowess, he is fast; which is a key at his bar. The Phoenix tends to be crowded and getting a drink can be challenging sometimes. Not with Jeff on the job; he is a definite multitasker making a half dozen drinks at a time and never missing a beat.
One of his favorite cocktails to make especially during the summer is a simple Hard Arnold. This delicious libation is Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka and a splash of water as mixer with a slice of fresh lemon. That sounds so refreshing!
As a bartender, he loves the people he gets to meet. “The relationships I’ve developed across the bar have developed into lifelong friendships. Not that the friends always last for life, sometimes just a night is bliss in itself. The Phoenix never disappoints!”
If you know the Phoenix, you know how wild it can get there, so always staying calm even when dealing with massive crowds is a beneficial skill. Jeff jokes that the weirdest and funniest thing he has seen happened recently at their employee turnabout drag show. “Tina Turnsatrick won! It was the first time I had ever done drag and participated in something like that.” Now you don’t see that happen every day.
When asked how Covid affected him and what his thoughts are about the industry now in the face of Monkeypox, he replied, “Covid certainly shook the industry. I’m happy to see our community rebounding like we are. As far as Monkeypox, it’s good to witness so many observe caution. After Covid, people are taking their health more seriously and that is essentially going to benefit us all.”
Jeff’s shifts vary, but you can usually catch him upstairs on the weekends and often overnight during the week. While you are out and about go give Jeff a big bear hug at the Phoenix located at 941 Elysian Fields Avenue.