One of South City Kitchen Buckhead’s most personable bartenders, Curtez Anthony has been working with the restaurant for three years. In addition to his newfound passion for bourbon behind the bar, Curtez spends his time off working as a stand-up comedian. Get to know him in our full Q&A below, and check out @southcitykitchen.atl on Instagram for more highlights:
What is your role at South City Kitchen?
I’m a bartender, but I also help out on the floor as needed.
How long have you been with the company?
Since July 2016. I will celebrate three years at South City Kitchen this year.
What’s your favorite part about working here?
I genuinely like the people I work with. I could not work in a place if I did not like the people. I could list off many names of talented co-workers who have greatly influenced me over the past three years. I also enjoy our customers a lot because I have always been a people-person. I love doing it, I love bartending.
How did you get your start in bartending?
My first bartending gig was in New York City for a catering company. I like bartending because it’s different than serving and you can be a little more liberal with how you work. You have more guest interaction and engagement with people. I’ve always wanted to make drinks behind the bar and shoot the breeze with people. It’s something I am very comfortable with.
What’s your favorite cocktail on the menu?
The “Modern Romance” is by far the best cocktail on this menu. It’s like a bourbon version of “Sex on the Beach,” just not as sweet. Bourbon is definitely my spirit of choice and I really like Old Fourth Distillery. They just came out with a bourbon and I love it! It’s locally made and very well balanced, especially for the price point.
What’s your go-to drink at home?
Definitely rosé and riesling. I like the brand we carry, Gustave Lorentz. It has strawberry and cranberry notes to it and is bubbly and dry. It makes me feel very “Miami Vice.”
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three ingredients would you take to make a cocktail?
If I’m on an island then I’m going to need rum because that just seems the most fitting. My three ingredients would be rum, fresh pineapples and orange juice, because I love the combination of juice and rum.
What inspires you behind the bar?
To be honest, I know this is going to sound kind of scripted, but I really like dealing with people. I’m just simply a people-person. I like to engage with our guests; it drives me and I’m an extrovert. You never know who they are, what their story is and how it could possibly impact you or change your perspective on something. I have met some great and fantastic people here and I’m better for it. You never know where opportunities will come from and what impact you will make on someone’s day. A customer could come in after a hard, long day and you can inject them with positive energy and change their mood.
What is the most exciting thing about South City Kitchen Buckhead’s bar program?
My favorite part about the bar program is the learning aspect. We have something called the spill log where we can write down measurements of things. At any point during the day, we can test out cocktails and try mixing our own. One or twice a week, we do a sit down with the servers and go over the wine to help them better describe regions and tasting notes. I like the fact that we do so much learning and growing here.
What’s something new to your palate that you’ve recently tasted?
This Old Fourth Distillery bourbon. Ever since I started working here, I’ve become more into bourbon. I never really drank that much before and now I’ve learned a lot. This Old Fourth Distillery “Bottled in Bond” bourbon came out in February and I already think it is one of the best bourbons in the country.
What area of town do you live in?
I live in College Park.
Where are your favorite spots to grab drinks in your neighborhood?
There are two places where I’m most likely to grab a drink. One is Spondivits because they’re open late. If I order a drink there, I like to keep it simple. The other bar is Louisiana Bistreaux where I like to order a New Orleans-style hurricane.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love doing stand-up comedy. Once I was up on-stage I realized that I had always wanted to be on-stage.