Saying “Summertime in New Orleans is hot” is an understatement. I believe walking-on-the-sun-hot may be a better descriptive.
But on the days when the humidity brings the temperatures into triple digits, a cool, air-conditioned LGBTQ+ bar is the perfect safe haven. A community oasis, if you will, that makes all your problems melt away. And helping with this is your fabulous bartender who will offer a cool drink, a warm smile and, hopefully, sassy repartee. My Bartender Spotlight for these dog days of summer is the handsome and extremely talented Trey Ming at GrandPre’s.
Originally from Dallas, Trey found this home in NOLA during a difficult time in his life. With the overlapping artistic and LGBTQ+ communities of New Orleans calling out to him like a beacon, he made the decision and found a home here. He has been working at GrandPre’s for about a year and two months, and before that he worked briefly at Rawhide (now Silver Fox).
Not only does he make delicious cocktails for his customers, but he goes out of his way to create an atmosphere of inclusivity and acceptance. In short, he makes people feel at home, which makes him very popular with locals. Having a good local base of regulars is definitely one of a bartender’s main goals, at least it should be, especially in this city.
When I asked Trey if he has created any specialty cocktails or shots, his cheeky answer is “I serve up a wicked Bud Lite”. Which segues into his answer to my follow-up question, “What is your best asset behind the bar?” He answered, “I really enjoy talking to people and making people laugh. I think these qualities more than anything have benefitted my overall ability as a bartender.”
I have known Trey for many years, so take his answer to “What is the craziest/funniest thing you have seen as a bartender?” with a grain of salt. Since his response was “Tony Leggio”, I am honored to be considered both crazy and funny, two things needed to live in this city.
Comedian is just one of Trey’s many assets behind the bar. He is professional, speedy and makes a great drink. “What I enjoy about being a bartender is getting to know people, and GrandPre’s is a fun and welcoming neighborhood bar that people enjoy coming to for the past seven years, well before I started working here.”
One of his favorite things to drink when he goes out is RumpleMintz. But he still stands by the fact that he can make a killer Bud Lite.
His biggest pet peeve that customers do happens when the bar is quiet, and a customer comes in and says “Where is everyone?” “It does not help me lift the mood,” said Trey, “and you are assuming that the bartender has an answer to that useless question.”
Trey can normally be found behind the bar at GrandPre’s Thursday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to close. GrandPre’s is located at 834 North Rampart Street.
In addition to catching Trey behind the bar, you can also see him on stage with his next musical I Wrote a Song, coming up in the Fall. The opening night will be September 29 at the AllWays Lounge’s Twilight Room. It’s an original musical about the journey of a closeted Baptist minister on his way to freedom. Based on countless true stories, it follows this individual through his coming-out journey, accompanied by music and dance with a stellar cast.