Most bartenders will say the key to thriving in this thread of the Industry is finding balance. For Katelin Suter, balance comes in the form of a wide-range of activities, but along the lines of, "let's go ride bikes at this alligator park, see if we can see alligators-for fun."
Suter, who's gifted with the type of energy that's released from a firehose, is happiest in a constant state of action. Whether it's refurbishing furniture around her new home or tearing through a new book; outside of work is as jampacked as night time hours spent serving, bartending, and overall getting the job done at Goodnight Charlies.
Six years ago, Advanced Sommelier David Keck took notice of Suter in his wine education classes. She was a host for Uchi at the time and wanted to grow her wine knowledge in order to enhance her tableside presence.
Last year Keck, now a Master Sommelier, worked with her for ten days straight at a summertime pop-up with chef Peter Jahnke.
She walked in eagerly on her first day, "So what do you need me to do?"
"Everything." Keck responded.
When the pop-up concluded, he mentioned he might be opening a place in the near future with, you know— boots, beer, and live music. In a case of perfect time, perfect place, Suter, who would complete physical therapy training at the Texas Health School in December 2017 hopped on board at Goodnight Charlies, which opened later that month.
Originally Suter intended to work in the health field; an ER nurse perhaps. In her words, caring for people is something she's always been "drawn too." A spot in the ER would fulfill that need while at the same time feed her ability to execute tasks quickly. While the bar may be worlds different than a hospital; the sentiment is all the same.
Suter will help open three new projects from Goodnight Hospitality in 2019; March, Rosie Cannonball and Montrose Cheese and Wine. She's excited to be cross-trained.
"She's always been an amazingly driven and focused employee," Keck states. He has been good at bouncing her around and teaching her different tasks. "I get bored easily and David knows that, he pushes me to be the best, and I appreciate it."
In regards to the upcoming plans for Goodnight Hospitality, he recently asked her, "so, what do you want to do?"
"Everything," she responded.
1 ½ ounce Elijah Craig 9 year (sold exclusively to Goodnight Charlies-another bourbon will do.)
1 ½ ounce Texas grapefruit juice
¾ ounce Raw wildflower Texas honey
If you could imagine stepping off the honkey-tonk dance floor, date by your side, full summer moon overhead, with just a quiet moment in between bands, swaying back and forth on a porch swing, it would be a Sleepwalker you'd be sipping on.
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The cocktail menu at Goodnight Charlies is designed to facilitate fast, quiet service, so as not to detract from the live music. Three ingredients tops, all built in the glass, no shaking or stirring.
Shot of Advice: It's very difficult to find balance between industry life and regular life. It's important to take a minute to check in with yourself and make sure you're emotionally and physically happy. In an industry where you pretty much take care of other people, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself— even if it comes down to drinking water.