10 Questions: Shawn Egerton
It's not always a fun job, slinging drinks for guests packed ten deep waving for your attention. Yet he and his crew at Candleroom managed to keep pace...and composure...as the hard door trend boomed.
When Tristan Simon shut down Candleroom's older sibling, Sense, and backed out of the lounge business, Egerton and the former manager turned empresario "Tommy D" bought the place, renovated and continued to draw weekend crowds.
So--busy nights, a solid staff...he's so happy he doesn't even hate Tom Cruise...
I think I have, oh, 18 bottles. I actually don't drink at home, though.
2. Are you tired of pouring Red Bull this and Red Bull that?
I can't answer that. [Holding a can in dramatic, advertising fashion] Red Bull is a fine product that...No, not really. What I really hate is pouring so much vodka. People need to mix it up a bit. There are some great rums out there, some great whiskeys.
3. You don't get busy until 11 or so. Why do people go out so late?
We were just asking that question last night. I don't know. I always wondered if they went to happy hour and then went home to take a power nap before coming here.
4. How important is the right bit of real estate inside a bar?
It's extremely important. You don't want to be stuck in the middle. I hate to be crowded. That's the value of bottle service to some people--to have an area that is yours. We're talking about space--you don't have to bump into people.
5. Do you have to be crazy to own a bar?
Abso-fucking-lutely. When we were getting ready to sign the papers for this place, Maxim magazine came out with a list of the top 20 things not to do in life. And there it was: don't own a bar. But we didn't listen to their advice. We signed anyway.
6. What is the best thing about bartending?
The people. I've never met a better group of friends.
7. The worst?
The late nights. It's hard with a family. We close at 2, but we're not done here until 4:30. Fortunately, I have an understanding wife.
8. Do you have a favorite drink?
The flavor of the week last week was Three Olives vodka. This week it's Crown Cask 16. It's awesome.
9. If you could steer people to one type of booze, it would be...?
It would have to be whiskey, in all its forms--bourbon, Tennessee, Scotch, Canadian. Vodka pretty much all tastes the same.
10. Don't you hate Tom Cruise for doing Cocktail?
No. That was about the time I started bartending. He created such a buzz by making that movie. People started to look at bartending differently. The only thing I hate is that any time you do a move, people say 'look at Tom Cruise.'