It’s fair to say that Colin Jensen worked his way up (har) at Columbia Tower Club where he started as a banquet bartender but now manages the bar 75 stories above the ground. Before starting at Columbia Tower Club four yeaars ago, he managed a Banana Republic—both jobs accommodating his penchant for vests. Jensen didn't have a single drink until age 21, a delay he makes up for with his current pouring style. But mostly his bartending role lets him do double duty as everything from financial adviser to matchmaker.
Here, five questions for Colin Jensen:
What's your favorite cocktail recipe using a PNW-distilled spirit? We have a drink called The Wall; its an absurdly over-the-top cocktail involving dragonfruit and Sun Liquor Aged Rum, and topped with liquid nitrogen. It may be over the top, but it's a delicious cocktail and fun to make and deliver to a table.
How do you stay inspired? I stay inspired by what I call "market research", which basically means going around the city drinking and trying new things, finding what works for other people, and adapting for my bar.
What is the craziest thing you've ever seen happen in a bar? A well-known local celebrity proposing to his girlfriend. Due to the nature of my bar being members only, that's the craziest thing I'm allowed to tell you, and I can't even say who it is! Buy me a drink and ask me again sometime face to face.
If the bar and restaurant world suddenly disappeared, what would you do? Starve mostly. However, running has become a big part of my life, I run with the "Bourbon Trailblazers", a running group of mostly industry folk, so I'd probably do something with that, race training and organizing or something.
What bars do you like to frequent when not at Columbia Tower Club and why? There's a number of bars: Zig Zag, because it feels like Cheers, everyone knows your name. Witness, because I really like the environment and ambiance that the owner has created there. Roux as well, great food, great drinks, and overall probably earns my vote for a "Rookie of the Year" award.