For Schuyler Smith, mixing up refreshing cocktails and mingling with customers comes naturally. Currently, you can find our Bartender of the Month behind the counter of colorful watering hole and Murray Hill’s favorite bird, The Flamingo. The trendy coffee-shop-meets-wine-bar, where he began working within the last year, serves a wide variety of libations, ranging from canned local brewery goodies to a selection of sparkling wines. On weekends, the bar also plays host to the area’s favorite vegan-friendly hotdog stand Hotdog Party, home to novel frankfurters and crafty condiments. Their glizzies vary from tofu scramble franks covered in jalapeños to back-to-basics ketchup and mustard coated dogs. The venture is another part-time side hustle for Smith.
A popular fixture in the local community, Smith began bartending at Root Down—a little bar with a big name—in the heart of 5 Points. “I started working the door and was invited behind the bar to work with beer and wine,” Smith said. His shift there ended up lasting five years spread over many nights serving frequent Five Points Flyers, assisting with hosting shows featuring Florida-based bands, and rounding up regulars and coworkers for timeless group pics in the bar’s iconic bathroom mirror.
In his current post, Smith has developed a rare and impressive craft and one that’s fairly unique to the Flamingo: barista and bartender. The duality of the alchemy allows him to create some tasty originals, one of his personal favorites and newest specials being the strawberry mint latte. While he doesn’t necessarily have a favorite drink to make, he said, “I enjoy making a bunch of drinks at once and love getting a positive reaction from the customer when they enjoy them. That’s what matters.”
Outside of the bar, he’s very involved with his local DIY and skate scene. “I do a lot of skateboarding,” he said. “ I really like The Block and FLOSSIE.” In addition to his passion for carving some concrete or supporting his friends at local pop-ups, Smith is a huge dog lover with a couple of his own. “I also spend a lot of time with my dogs and [involving them in] training activities with my friends and family.”