IDs Please!

My Bar at 635


“IDs PLEASE!” I’ve yelled it at least a thousand times from behind the bar when a group that looked questionably young came inching through the barroom doors. When I first started out bartending, many people would retort back with something like “Well, how old are you?” Being a bartender under 30 in New Orleans was the time of my life, but it also had challenges. The younger I was, the harder it was to yell at an older gentleman that he couldn’t bring in his own forty of beer.


Thinking back to when I started, I wanted to highlight some of our drink slingers who happen to be under 30. Today we will venture into the Lower Garden District, Algiers Point, & the French Quarter to meet these barkeeps. They each had to answer 5 questions that give us a little more insight about themselves.


Say hello to Jess Brignac! 



I have known Jess for a hot minute, as she is besties with my younger sister. I was very excited when she agreed to my interview. At age 25, she is the youngest tapstress in this post. You can find her pouring a cold one at the Crown & Anchor, in Algiers Point, or for Saints games, catch her at Handsome Willy’s. Send her down a shot of Jameson neat if you ever manage to catch her not working.


At what age did you start bartending?

Technically 17, but we don’t tell the boys in blue that…


What do you love most about bartending?

Every shift is a new animal. New face, new stories, a slow night or a night where all you have flowing through your mind are countless drink orders. No matter the shift, you leave in the end with something new. 


What is your favorite drink to make?

I love me a Bloody Mary. everyone has their own recipe and we all like to think ours is the best.


What drink do you loathe making?

Depends on the day, if I’m slammed, don’t ask me to muddle oranges and cheap cherries for an old fashioned. 


What made you choose bartending?

I like to think it chose me. I was thrown behind the bar and just picked up on it very fast and fell in love with the trade. 


Next counterman that we are putting on display is Kyle Simmons!



Kyle is 27, who ventured into this business at 18. He is currently working at the dueling piano bar called My Bar, on Bourbon St. But, you may recognize him from Pat O’s, Borgne, or the neighborhood spot J&K. If you find Kyle sitting next to you, be sure to buy him a Bulleit on the rocks.


What do you love about the neighborhood you work in?

The French quarter has its ups & downs. I love working down here because are here to party. I also love the camaraderie between the bartenders down here. We all get off at the same time, and most of our friends have hung up their hats for the evening. So, we all get to hang out with each other. I’ve made a couple of great friendships that way. 


Do you feel you get treated differently because you are younger?

When I started out, yes. As I’ve become more experienced, I realized it’s not my age but the fact that I really had no idea what I was doing at first. 


What’s your favorite drink to make?

One drink I know will always please people is my blueberry lemonade – light, refreshing, and not too sweet. 


What drink do you loathe making?

Bloody Mary’s past 7pm. It’s the not the actual drink itself, rather it blows my mind how someone can down 3 of them over the course of their stay. Gross. 


What made you choose bartending?

I was 18 and working at Sun Ray Grill in the CBD, the bartender left & I got thrown into the mix. I fell in love & haven’t looked back since! 


The last bartender we are acquainting you with today is Skylar!



Skylar has only been tending bar a year at the GDP in the LGD. (Some of y’all may remember that bar as Sharon’s back in the day.) When I was searching for barkeeps under 30, her regulars were insistent that she be featured! She is certainly adored over there. You can send her a shot of tequila & a PBR when you find her off work. Very shortly she will be filling in at Parasol’s too!


What do you love about the neighborhood you work in?

The people. The dogs. The variety of businesses and lives and homes. I can walk to work, grab an iced coffee from the lovely folks at Mojo for shift fuel and see familiar faces along the way. The sense of community is real here. 


What is your favorite drink to make?

I’m still new to the game, so I like making cocktails I’ve never heard of – as long as I have the necessary ingredients and the patron has equally necessary patience. 


Is this a career path for you? If not, what are you pursuing?

I’m not quite sure yet. I’m still in that head space of not quite knowing what I want to be when I grow up, but I love what I do. So, maybe?


What holidays do you like working?

Halloween! Working in costume and having a bar full of costumed folks out of their normal selves is a lot of fun for me. Although costume wearing is not limited to that one day here in New Orleans. 


What made you choose bartending?

I’ve worked in the industry for almost 10 years now, mainly serving. I’ve away had an interest in it, but it seemed difficult to break in to. I hung out a lot at the GDP when I moved here, and when one of the bartenders decided to leave, they asked if I would be interested in being on the other side of the bar. I jumped at the opportunity and have been happily slinging’ drinks since! 


Head out to a different ‘hood than you normally hang & check them out. I want to thank Jess, Kyle, & Skylar for letting me showcase them! No matter the age or experience level, just don’t forget to TIP WELL & TIP OFTEN!



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