Johnathan Johnson: Big City Country Boy

Johnathan Johnson has been bartending around Metro Detroit for years. We’re now lucky to have this cutie slinging drinks over at Club Gold Coast / SIN. We caught up with the big city country boy to find out a little bit more about him and what he does.

Johnathan, you’ve been bartending in the area for years. What’s your favorite part of being a bartender?

Talking to our patrons has to be my favorite thing about bartending. We get people from all different walks of life and they have such interesting stories to tell. Whether it’s a young man experiencing a gay bar for the first time or a regular that I have seen several times, I love the people.

What makes your gig at Club Gold Coast / SIN different from your previous jobs?

For the first time in my bartending career, I am also a manager. In addition to pouring drinks and keeping my customers happy, I also have to make decisions involving staffing, stock, and design, among other things. It is a lot more responsibility, but it gives me the opportunity to flex my creative muscle and develop new skills.

How do you balance your managerial duties with your bartending duties?

Balancing the two can be a bit challenging at times, but it really boils down to strong communication. It is important to make sure everyone is on the same team and shares the same vision for the bar. It also helps having wonderful co-managers to bounce ideas off of and lean on for the more difficult decisions.

What separates Club Gold Coast from everyone else?

Gold Coast is the only gay male strip club in the area. It is a judgment-free, come as you are, kind of place where people can come to have a good time. We accept everyone. It is also two bars in one [building]; we have the Gold Coast side, which is the strip club, and the Sin side, which has more of a lounge feel to it. It gives people a choice and allows them to add a little variety to their evening.

Club Gold Coast usually has some special events each month, what’s coming up?

Our next event is the Blacklight Glow Party on Saturday, May 16th, which should be a lot of fun and visually pleasing. We also have a party bus scheduled for LGBT Pride Night at Comerica Park on Wednesday, June 3rd. The bus is $50 dollars and includes admission to the Tigers game.

What has been your favorite moment as a Club Gold Coast bartender?

It is too hard to pin down one favorite moment, because there are so many great ones. I will say my favorite kinds of moments are those when I can help turn someone’s bad day into a better one. Whether it is a strong drink, a friendly smile, or a few kind words of encouragement, I will do what I can to make them feel better.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I am a big family man. I have some pretty amazing nieces and nephews who mean the world to me and I spend as much time with them as possible. I am also a major foodie. I have a fun and adventurous palate that is always hungry for new, delectable morsels. I also love mac ‘n’ cheese, which I try everywhere I go.

In the game of life, what are some of your short-term and long-term goals?

My main goal is to run a successful bar that provides a fun and safe environment for people to enjoy themselves. It is also important for me to give my employees a place that they enjoy working at. It is always better when you have fun while you work, and a bar is the perfect place for that.

I would like to own my own bar someday. It would be rewarding to be able to look back and see that I have taken all my experiences as a bartender in the different bars I worked in and my responsibilities as a manager here at Gold Coast and turned that into something that is my own – it’s the American dream.

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

What people may not know about me is that I am a huge country boy at heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love my city, but I am just as happy being in the woods on my four-wheeler, camping out under the stars – I guess roughing it, so to speak.

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