Brian Nash of The Social Lounge talks music and whiskey
SURE, there are plenty of bartenders out there who just serve drinks – that’s their sole profession. But, there are also a large number of bartenders who serve drinks as a day job (albeit done at night) and pursue another project or passion on the side. Nash is in the latter category. He’s toured the country, playing guitar in bands that many from the West Chester area would recognize, and he’s still at it. We met up with Nash during a recent shift behind the bar at The Social Lounge.
Hometown: West Chester
Have you held any jobs other than bartending? Construction and music.
What do you play? Guitar, bass, a little piano. I play just about everything except for drums – I just can’t separate my body into playing eight different things at the same time.
What bands have you played in? A couple, but the big one was Monacy, and now I’m playing in a group called Spacecamp.
What happened with Monacy? I played lead guitar, and we were touring all over the East, recorded two albums, but not everyone in the band had faith in themselves and how good we could be. So, after a while they said, “This is all we’re gonna be,” and we split up.
And Spacecamp? We’re original rock. It’s sort of like Jack Johnson meets… I don’t even know, man. We’ll get up on stage with spaceman costumes, and the music is all fun. It’s me on electric guitar, a guy on acoustic and a DJ keeping the beat.
Do you ever play in West Chester? Yeah. Donnie [Donnie Moore, owner of The Note and co-owner of The Social Lounge] is putting us on at The Note as an opening act pretty soon.
Where else have you bartended? I worked out at Ruffini’s in Thorndale and at The Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz, California.
What took you to Santa Cruz? I went out there to play in a band, but it turned out that nobody in the band was very good, so I ended up bartending. I did get to play with John Lee Hooker while I was out there though.
How did you get into bartending? Well, I was doing it out in Santa Cruz, but then I moved back this way, and I was working construction. One day I shot a 12-penny nail through the back of my hand and had to play a show that night. I was in horrible pain, but I played the show, and the next day I got out of construction and back into bartending.
Do you have a specialty drink? We’re about to roll out a new cocktail menu here at The Social Lounge, just waiting for the menus to arrive. We’re going to have Prohibition-era cocktails, and I make an excellent Old Fashioned.
And what do you drink? Jameson. Miller Lite and Jameson. Though, we have Pumpking on tap right now, it’s brewed by Southern Tier, and I would drink that every day if I could.
What’s the best night to bartend? Coming from a music perspective, I love being in here on Monday nights when we have The Rolling Thunder Blues Review and open mic. Rolling Thunder are just evil – they’re amazing musicians, and there is just nowhere else to go on a Monday night and get to see that kind of talent. We’re also starting Mojitio & Burrito Wednesday, so I think that’ll be pretty good, too.