Bar Beat

Cocktail Therapy: Kassidy Motal of Axelrad Beer Garden

Bartender Kassidy Motal is full of energy.
Bartender Kassidy Motal is full of energy. Photo by Kate McLean

Watching Kassidy Motal ping pong from one end of the bar to another is a lot like how she's hopped from one lillipad to the next in terms of careers; while always in the background was the bar. "It's fun, I mean I've been doing it since 2005 and still love this industry," she says. It's true, there really is something in the water.

Motal headed to Texas State for a degree in Public Relations after spending high school booking and promoting her friend's bands. In 2005, a tough market to break into, she sought out bar owner friends for any type of job. She insisted she work her way up from the bottom; they equally insisted she was smart enough to skip right to bartending. After two years spent in San Marcos and Austin she returned to hometown Houston in 2007.

Since moving back she's had a colorful resume of work, no doubt that PR degree serving her from her back pocket.   A published pin-up model, at one point she managed a tattoo salon, piercing a few bellies along the way. A matchmaker for the dating service Two of Us, she paired couples by hand based on their personality tests and preferences. "I've had two marriages and one had a baby," she smiled referring to her track record.

After a year of matchmaking and the interesting quirks that position entails, it was back to bartending. She's opened three bars over the years; The Drake nightclub, Nouveau Antique Art Bar, and Barcadia; especially loving that part of the process, from building the atmosphere to crafting its libations. After valuable time spent learning whiskey at Reserve 101, it's now her favorite spirit.  On the other side of the bar, she worked in promotions and was made a brand ambassador for Sailor Jerry.

With her knack for business, Motal opened the hair salon Black Sheep Parlor, which she ran for four years and finally sold so she could explore the world. It was on a trip to southeast Asia with her fiancé when the travel bug bit them. "We became completely different people. [It was] so eye-opening and amazing. It made me a lot more compassionate."  Hoping to get back to southeast Asia soon, they travel stateside collecting tattoos.

Having worked at Axelrad for a year now, she states, "this is 100 percent the best bar family I've ever had. Immediately everybody opened their arms to me." Axelrad Beer Garden does emit a warm feeling with its token neon tree and hammocks that sway to live music or silent black and whites on the outdoor projector.
"I think it's the owners, the GM and the AGM, they know what they're trying to build."

For Motal, bartending just feels good. "I'm a people pleaser. It's cool to talk to someone you've never met, and figure out exactly what they like." She also picks up shifts at Warehouse Live and Revention Music Center.

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The Impeachmint catching an old flick.
Photo by Kate McLean
"The Impeachmint"

1 1/2 ounce Deep Eddy Peach Vodka
3/4 ounce Peach Schnapps
1/2 ounce Lime juice
Ginger Ale

Shake vodka, schnapps, lime juice and mint with ice. Strain over ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with mint. Absolutely delightful; a mouthful of spritely, boozy peaches.

Shot of advice: Be kind. You never know what people are going through.

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Who doesn't want to drink in a hammock???
Photo by Kate McLean
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