For Steve Losey, the best part of being a bartender is interacting with the guests. And with 20 years in the hospitality industry, he knows how to make sure their needs are met.
Losey, who came to the Valley 15 years ago from Michigan, has been working at El Chorro Lodge
since it reopened on Feb. 18. Knowledge mixed with enthusiasm for his craft is what makes Losey a standout bartender.
Did you always think you were going to be a bartender?
Yeah pretty much. I've always been really good at the service industry and seeing what people's needs are and addressing them.
Do you ever have really crazy customers?
It's not too bad here. Pretty tame, as of yet. But I'm sure that once we get established and people start hearing about how great it is here I think we'll get more of a crowd and people will let loose a little more.
What's your favorite drink to have yourself?
For a cocktail I really enjoy just a vodka and soda. Maybe a flavored vodka and soda. I like that nice, light, clean taste.
What's your least favorite drink to make?
It would probably have to be an old fashioned just because there's so many different steps in it. It's very time consuming. Or any type of frozen drink is kind of time consuming as well. And it's not that I don't like to make them, it just slows me down so that I can't help as many guests.
What's your favorite thing about the El Chorro Sunrise (the restaurant's signature drink)?
How it's so refreshing, how it's so clean tasting. It's the perfect drink to sit outside in the sun and just relax. The clean taste has a lot to do with the fresh fruit, as well as the little bit of champagne that goes on the top.
Who came up with the El Chorro Sunrise?
It was actually a collaboration of all of our bartenders together. When we first opened up, we were all trying different recipes and basically everybody came together and made this one. So this is a really great signature drink for El Chorro.
Do you ever come up with new drinks yourself?
Sometimes usually by mistake. I'll grab a wrong bottle or something like that at home, or just find out what's in the pantry and see what kind of drinks I have. The latest one that I had come up with is almost like a mojito but instead of rum I use Ketel One Citroen. So it's, again, that nice, crisp flavor, finished with the mint.
Do you have any flairtending moves?
I used to, I used to mess around like that. When I was back in Michigan I was at a real high-energy club. And I've kind of gotten away from that just because now I'm kind of focusing more on what the guests need and get to their needs as fast as I can.
What do you like to do when you're not bartending?
Hiking, golfing, spending time with my family. Going out and just relaxing on a patio at one of the local watering holes and having a cocktail.