Bartender Chat: Shawn Outlaw of Simone on Sunset
Simone on Sunset is fully loaded with approximately 35 off-the-beaten-path beers (no, you won't find a Miller Light here), all the usual-suspect spirits, and a few hard-to-come-by bottles, such as the Ransom Old Tom Gin that Katharine Shilcutt recently enjoyed here. Whether you're out for a great glass of vino or the signature Simone Rita, Shawn Outlaw is at your service.
A native Texan, Shawn is a realtor by trade. When the market turned south, he turned to his college career of bartending. Even though he's still in the real estate game, he is often found here making drinks, serving both indoor and outdoor tables and even answering phone calls requesting parking assistance. (Really, people. It's street parking. Figure it out.)
When I first came in, Shawn was busier than a one-armed paperhanger, so I enjoyed one of those aforementioned Simone Ritas. Made of Camarena Reposado tequila, pear liqueur, and a (very small) splash of lime juice, it was easy drinking despite the fact that I'm sure two of these would have knocked me on my arse. Luckily, Shawn was able to get away from the hubbub to chat with me before it got to that point.
What the best part of bartending? Meeting new people. All the craziness you see can be the best and the worst parts of bartending. It can be fun and entertaining or crazy and annoying.
In three words, describe your bartending style. Funny, clumsy and erratic. I'm all over the place, but you have to be.
If you could ban any drink from bars, what would it be? Anything that requires muddling. And we have plenty of them. People love those drinks. They're the hardest to make and the ones they like the most. I think bartenders across America can appreciate that. Then again, that's part of the experience for the customer. So, even though they're a pain, this kind of place, that's what we cater to.
Other than your bar, what's your favorite bar and what do you order? I'm very simple. I like bourbon, vodka, and beer. I like to go to places where people don't know me. I hate going to places where you see the same people, interact with the same people. But, I just don't ever really get out much...I'm always working. But if I was going out, I'd probably come by here to have a drink first because I get a discount and it's a nice place to hang out. Then maybe head over to a cool music place. I like blues and jazz. Just a place where it's kind of a come as you are kind of place.
Fill in the blanks: Someone walks in and orders a ___________. You think, _________. If you come in and order a cosmo, I think you've watched too much Sex and the City. I thought we were over those.
Is there a recipe you'd like to share? I'll give you a recipe. It's a frozen sangria. The recipe is...it's got a lot of different things in it.
Shawn wasn't giving up the goods on the frozen sangria, so you'll have to pay him a visit and try one out. Or torture him...wait until a large crowd comes in and then order a Mint Julep.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.