Serving Steamboat: Female bartenders of the ‘Boat |

Serving Steamboat: Female bartenders of the ‘Boat

Luke Graham

Local bartenders, from left, Beth Hadrys, Lyndsey Shaw, Georgie Watters, Elizabeth Jokisch and Jeanine Dinome sling drinks for patrons of various bars throughout the city of Steamboat Springs.

It's an exercise in social behavior.

Bartenders serve patrons. Patrons have fun, sometimes too much fun. It's a unique relationship. It's part friendship and part therapy.

Steamboat Springs serves as an even more interesting case. It's a mountain town with more men than women (insert your favorite joke about the lack of women in town). It also features some of the finest female bartenders around. They sling drinks, mix cocktails and pour wine for tourists, elitists and bros alike.

But what's it like to be a female bartender in a mountain town?

Here's a look inside the fun, sometimes crazy and always interesting life of Steamboat's female bartenders.

Georgie Watters and Lyndsey Shaw, Sunpie’s Bistro

Get to Sunpie's on a lazy Saturday, and Lyndsey Shaw and Georgie Watters deliver a punch.

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The blondes — sometimes in pink and orange wigs — mix Hall & Oates radio with diverse cocktails for an adoring crowd.

"This bar fits into our personality," Watters said. "We're small and close."

The hole-in-the-wall feel and New Orleans ambience set the stage for Shaw and Watters. On a recent Saturday, the two directed their loyal customer base in games, songs and, of course, spirits.

Shaw, originally from Philadelphia, has been at Sunpie's for four years. She's been in the bar industry for years, and the lively atmosphere has kept her there.

"I've been doing it since I was 17," Shaw said. "I love the atmosphere and the people. It's fun people-watching."

Watters started working at Sunpie's two years ago after falling into the business. She worked at a wine bar in London before visiting a friend in Steamboat and falling in love with the town.

The gender ratio doesn't bother either bartender. With a loyal following at Sunpie's and two blondes who can barb with anyone, it's a distinct advantage.

"We can pull a lot more money out of people," Shaw said.

"Especially in this town, where the ratio is a lot more skewed," Watters added.

Elizabeth Jokisch, Mazzola’s

One night, the bar at Mazzola's Majestic Italian Diner was two deep, and Elizabeth Jokisch was churning out drinks as fast as she could.

A male patron stepped up to the bar and asked what was her favorite drink to make.

On a busy night like this, a Budweiser draft, Jokisch joked.

"I'm sure if I'd been a man, it wouldn't have come off as well," she said. "He just laughed, and it was a light moment. As a female bartender, we can get away with a lot more than men."

Jokisch grew up in Kansas City, Kan., and started working as a banquet waitress at age 16.

Eventually, she ended up in business school.

"And I didn't care much," she said. "My mom asked me what I truly loved. I told her my job."

Jokisch has spent the past 12 years in the restaurant business. She went to culinary arts school to get more experience, and she worked for five years at Rex's American Grill & Bar in the front and back of the house.

"I just love the industry," she said.

Beth Hadrys, Carl’s Tavern

Just like the cocktails at Carl's Tavern, bartender Beth Hadrys possesses several signature qualities.

Walk into the business on any given day and it's hard to not notice Hadrys' giant smile and pigtails. A little further investigation, and her belt buckle jumps out.

It reads "BEEF."

"It's a play off my name," said Hadrys, who has been at Carl's for three years. "The kitchen loves it, and people love it."

Hadrys, who was born in New York and grew up in Maryland, has been in the hospitality and service industry most of her life. She went to school at Longwood University in Virginia, where she studied communications and theater.

"It's never been hard for me to talk to people, and I genuinely like to make people happy," she said.

After eight years in Florida as a personal assistant, she came to Steamboat to help her employer move a house.

She loved it and stayed.

Since then, she's moved up from a server to a bartender at Carl's. She said the ratio of men to women can be confounding at first, but she doesn't even notice now.

"I can't help but smile," she said. "The regulars all treat me with respect, and the tourists all enjoy it. I love it here."

Sallie Holmes, Carl’s Tavern

Sallie Holmes knows how things can get in a bar.

Originally from New Orleans, Holmes has seen just about every situation unfold.

"Down there, you have to be ready for anything," she said. "It could be strippers coming in from one bar or bouncers from another. You have to keep your head on a swivel."

Although it's more laid back in Steamboat, where Holmes has worked as a bartender at Carl's Tavern since October, every bar presents its challenges.

But Holmes enjoys it.

"Behind the bar, you can talk to 25 people in 10 minutes," she said. "It goes by so fast."

Holmes originally came to Colorado to go to school in Fort Collins. With out-of-state tuition high, she came to Steamboat to get in-state residence and to snowboard.

The high ratio of men to women doesn't bother her, but it presents an interesting dilemma.

Twenty guys will walk in, come directly to the bar and wonder where all the women are.

"They all want to talk to you," she said. "It's like a social experiment being sober behind the bar."

Jeanine Dinome, bistro c.v.

Jeanine Dinome spends a lot of her time prepping for bistro c.v. — peeling, cutting and pureeing.

As the bartender at an upscale restaurant like bistro c.v., it's part science, part education and mostly fun.

"I love craft cocktails, infusions and selling higher-end wines," Dinome said. "I love pairing it with food."

Dinome came to Steamboat 13 years ago to learn how to snowboard. She has been bartending for eight years and has spent the past six years on and off at bistro.

It's a different clientele, for sure. She said it's usually split 50/50 between tourists and locals, all looking for an elegant dinner.

Dinome said her task is to be knowledgeable about everything behind the bar. Whether it's pairing food with an expensive wine, finding a dessert wine or crafting a unique cocktail, she has to know her stuff.

But even though the clientele may be different, she said the key to bartending remains the same.

"It's a social gathering of people," she said. "I have a good time, and I enjoy talking and meeting new people. It's my niche. I love being social, it's good money and a good flow."

Rebecca Boucha, Slopeside Grill

Rebecca Boucha has made a living out of bartending.

Originally from Minneapolis, she started at Chili's Grill and Bar in college.

"My smile is a big part of my success," she said.

She has been at Slopeside Grill for eight years and Sunpie's for six. Through it all, she has seen about every type of local or visiting character at some point.

It's always the interaction that brings her back.

"Bartending feels like a quirky family," she said. "It's definitely the weirdest family I've ever come from."

There certainly are ups and downs, Boucha said, but it's the clientele that make the job interesting every single day — especially at a bar like Slopeside, where it's more of a tourist stop right on the mountain, with longtime locals mixed in. She said one of the biggest factors about being a female bartender in Steamboat is being a strong woman.

She said the smile brings them in, but she's certainly not afraid to put someone in his or her place.

The key, she said, is to find a balance.

"Bar Rebecca is the complete opposite of at-home Rebecca," she said.

Georgie Watters

Favorite drink to make:

Moscow or Whiskey Mule

Least favorite drink to make:

Anything I don’t know how to make

Interesting fact:

Studied archaeology in college

Lyndsey Shaw

Favorite drink to make:

Gummy bear shot

Least favorite drink to make:

Whiskey sour

Interesting fact:

Studied finance in college

Elizabeth Jokisch

Favorite drink to make:


Least favorite drink to make:


Interesting fact:

Lived in Kansas but went to high school in Missouri

Beth Hadrys

Favorite drink to make:


Least favorite drink to make:

Bloody Mary

Interesting fact:

Two-time All-American in lacrosse at Longwood University

Sallie Holmes

Favorite drink to make:

Gypsy (Carl’s cocktail)

Least favorite drink to make:


Interesting fact:

Studying sustainability at CMC

Jeanine Dinome

Favorite drink to make:

Jalapeno-infused tequila with cilantro

Least favorite drink to make:


Interesting fact:

First bartending job was at a beach cabana in Miami

Rebecca Boucha

Favorite drink to make:

Long Island or margarita

Least favorite drink to make:

Anything in a blender

Interesting fact:

“The Grandma in the Apple Tree” is her favorite book

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