Football season is here, and there is nothing I like more than going to see a game at one of the many LGBT bars in the French Quarter. And one of my favorite bars to watch the Saints play is Crossing NOLA. It also happens to be where my Bartender of the Month for October works. Nick Schlumbrecht enhances my Saints viewing experience whether they win or lose. It also helps that they give out free shots every time the Saints score a touchdown. I have to admit for the Packers and Patriots games I got a little toasty.
A bar may be the draw for patrons, but I believe it is the bartenders that make their visit worthwhile and keep them returning. And that is what Nick does, keeps customers entertained. He has been working at the Crossing since only May 2021, but he is no novice to the industry. This born-and-raised New Orleanian was a bartender and manager at Good Friends for six years and the Bourbon Pub for two. After a brief sojourn from the city, he returned and is back behind the bar.
People always believe that in gay bars the entertainment is only on the stage, TV screens, or the DJ booth. While they are strong draws, your bartenders have to be equally as interesting. No one likes a dull bartender; they have to be engaging and fun. Nick is all of that and much more. He is, in fact, a powerhouse behind the bar.
Creating craft cocktails is artistry and Nick is a master at his craft. He moves effortlessly delivering cocktails to a crowded bar all the while maintaining a festive atmosphere for his clientele. His personable demeanor and sharp wit make him very popular with the locals. One of his strongest talents is his ability to connect with people. He will see a regular walk into the bar and acknowledge them immediately even if he is busy. His knack for remembering people’s cocktail of choice is also very endearing. A great memory is a valuable asset for a bartender.
He also puts people at ease, making them feel right at home. One of his favorite cocktails he likes to experiment with is a Bloody Mary. He loves creating new unique takes on an old classic. When he goes out drinking, however, he is a straight-up whiskey boy with Jameson as his choice.
He had an incredible reply when I asked him what he likes about being a bartender. “The perq of bartending is always meeting 100 new people a day and, for that short time there, you get to make an impact on them in some way, whether it’s a break from the day, a laugh, a night out partying or just an ear to listen. I especially like being at Crossing because this bar really gives a safe space for every type to feel wanted.”
As COVID is still ever present in our lives, Nick explained how he dealt with the pandemic. “It forced me to take a break from bartending and focus on my skills of managing,“ he says. “But it proved to me what I am good at and what I love doing which is being part of this community.”
Make it a point to check Nick out at Crossing NOLA located at 439 Dauphine Street.