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The SCENE Magazine

Featured Bartender: Chad from Swamp Shack Baybrook

Aug 05, 2019 04:12PM ● By John Ennis
How long have you been a bartender + How long at Swamp Shack?: I’ve been in the industry for almost 12 years now and have been bartending for about 8 years since moving to Houston from Michigan.  The owner, Alan Franks, and his management team graciously hired me in February a few months after the opening of the Baybrook location.
 
What do you love about working at Swamp Shack? It’s a fun atmosphere with amazing food, plus the clientele are great and not to mention co-workers and management that feel like family. Working for a family owned and operated organization is hands down one the best opportunities I’ve had.  
 
YOUR favorite day of the week to work at Swamp Shack & why? FUN Friday because it’s more lively! Everyone is ready for the weekend and I’m happy to help them kick it off right with some fun drinks!
 
Top 3 drinks you recommend to customers at Swamp Shack? New Orleans Hurricane, Crazy Swamp Juice, and our Swamp Rum Runner! All three of these are absolutely full of flavor and will definitely lift your spirits!
 
Top 3 dishes you recommend to customers at Swamp Shack? Our Mud Bug Burger is absolutely delicious with crawfish tails infused and hand formed into the beef patty! Shrimp Stuffed Jalapeños that are breaded and stuffed with three cheeses are very, very tasty! And of course, our phenomenal crawfish tossed in our scintillating G-Style sauce!
 
Do you have a signature drink? Absolutely! I call it the Lawnmower! It’s Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, Peach Liqueur mixed with Sweet Tea! Full of flavor, and it keeps you cool and refreshed on hot summer days while doing all the yard work!
 
Are there any new drinks or promotions you’re excited about? Starting this month, Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. ALL drinks are HALF OFF and HALF OFF appetizers (excluding deluxe and premium sampler platters)! We’re also going to be starting Thirsty Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. We will have $2.50 domestics, $12 domestic buckets and house wines for JUST $2!
 
What do you do when not at work? I love spending time with my wife and two daughters! We enjoy going to the movies, the beach and spending time by the pool. I love working out, golf, watching sports! My family is also involved with our church, The Harbor, as well as Jamie’s Hope, a cancer organization that raises money to help find a cure and supports families battling cancer. This organization is near and dear to my heart.

The most rewarding part of your job? Two things. First, when people come to my bar, it's a time to relax, grab some great drinks and food and visit with friends or family.  It's an escape from the everyday and I love to make that an enjoyable experience for them. Second, since my years in the industry, some people who where regulars are now great friends. They've supported my wife when she was diagnosed with cancer, been involved with our kids and continue to be friends in and out of the restaurant.  It's not about pouring drinks for me, it's about connecting with people.   
 
What is your favorite thing about August?  The start of football season for sure! I definitely represent my Detroit Lions, THE Western Michigan University Broncos, and last but not least, The University of Michigan Wolverines! I played football all the way through college so it’s definitely part of me! I can talk football with my customers all day. #RestoreTheRoar #WeWillReign #Hail
 
5 words that describe you: Charismatic, Empathetic, Sarcastic, Motivated, Goofy  
 
Favorite thing about the Bay Area? I love being close to the water and beach! Nothing better than being able to grab a bite watching the boats pass in Clear Lake and Kemah.  
 
Best tip you ever got: It’s a long story, but I got $800 on a $300 tab. Best day ever!! 
 
What do you love about Bartending? I enjoy a fast-paced environment. No two days are ever the same. I love meeting and connecting with people. My wife jokes, “You can’t remember to take out the trash, yet you remember someone’s drink order when they’ve only been to the restaurant a few times.”  I’m a people person!
 
Who inspires you? My dad is my biggest inspiration. He’s the hardest working man I know, and at almost retirement age, he’s still working hard, and I look up to him for that.  My wife also inspires me. She battled breast cancer and never skipped a beat. So when things get stressful, I just remember how strong she is and that keeps me motivated for her and our kids.
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