Throw in executive chef, war veteran, entrepreneur and that’s when you’ll get Keith Lloyd. He is that bartender at Smith and Wollensky on Westheimer in Houston.
Because of the upscale nature of the restaurant The Insite is not really a frequent customer. However, on Sunday a group of my friends told me I had to go. Not for the food or drinks but to meet the bartender who was the coolest. I now agree with those friends.
The patrons who frequent Smith and Wollensky lean more towards the well heeled side of the social economic scale. But Lloyd treats the working class as if they were just as important. He also has an ear for everyone who sits down at his bar. Despite his short tenure (3 years and counting) at the restaurant many of the regulars already know him by name.
Lloyd says by trade he is an executive chef. When the country was hit by that rough economy a few years ago Lloyd found himself out of work at a Houston area country club. He served as the executive chef. The former military man who fought in two wars was not ready to give up just yet. He pulled himself up by his boot straps and landed at Smith and Wollensky’s.
The upscale eatery is not the end of the road to the knowledgeable barkeep. Lloyd tells the Insite he’s on track to start his own magazine. It’s already been named ‘Nu Flavorz.’ The focus of the publication will be advice and tips on how to make the most out of your visit to a restaurant or eating establishment.
Lloyd, who’s also a husband and father, hopes to open his own restaurant one day but he acknowledges that’s further down the road.
For now you can catch Lloyd serving drinks and dishing out advice to all of his clients at Smith and Wollensky. If you get a chance make sure you go by and say hello to the jack of all trades!