Mason Clark has the confidence part down. At 4 p.m. on a Wednesday, her bar has slowed to a trickle. Give or take 20 guests linger around; most with giant “29 degree” frosty mugs in front of them. Dressed in a uniform of black lingerie for Halloween, it’s just a little more scant than their regular “lumber-jill” outfits. She admits, “honestly, it takes some getting used to.”
“You have to be a strong independent woman.” Clark is honest with her customers, which is more likely why they appreciate her so much. “I just keep it real, act professional, and they treat me the same way.” She has regulars that visit her every day and enjoys their talks, often times slipping into the therapist role. “It’s like a little family.”
Clark calmly walks back and forth; pulling mugs out of the freezer, filling orders for the dining room and finding time for a kind word to a customer walking by waving, “hey Mason!”
Six years ago, while attending Texas State University, Clark began working at the South Austin Twin Peaks
location. A bartender call-out had her filling her co-worker’s shoes for the night; earning her a spot in the training circle. Four years ago, she moved home to Houston, where her family has been planted for generations. She likes working for the Twin Peaks company, explaining, “when you work hard, they treat you right.” Her shifts are flexible, which gives her time for her real passion.
“I bartend so I can travel.” The setup is win-win. It was a trip to San Diego where she realized what the world had to offer. Now with Bali under her belt, she aims for a month-long trip to Europe next.
Entering in tips at the end of the shift can be full of surprises. “I was telling one guest how I was buying new furniture, trying to start over— he tipped me $500.” Her generosity of service is rewarded in kind.
Though it’s far from freezing outside, the Twin Peaks mountain lodge atmosphere draws people in for the same reason. Relax, have a beer, watch some sports, oh, and the service is good too. Hard-guitar alternative and classic rock fills the hall, TVs positioned every inch in sight. In between making a few drinks, she walks by, holding up a credit card slip, “look, $200 from that nice guy over there.” Sure enough, Clark will be visiting Europe very soon.
“Bulliet Rye Old Fashioned”
2 ounces Bulliet Rye
1 dash simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash aromatic bitters
Orange Peel, garnish
Amarene cherry, garnish
Big ole’ ice ball
It’s an old fashioned all right.
Shot of Advice:
Live life to the fullest. Use your money to see what’s out there.
All Twin Peaks locations will honor veterans and active military with free menu items on Monday, November 12.
Plain and simple.
Photo by Kate McLean