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Lisa Nguyen

Ace Hotel
Beverage Manager/ Assistant GM
New Orleans
Lisa Nguyen, a native New Orleanian, was raised in the hospitality industry. Working in her parents’ neighborhood Chinese restaurant from a young age, she moved up the ranks from hostess to server to manager by the age of 16. She started experimenting with tiki cocktails behind the bar in between her training in classical piano and earning her high school diploma. Fast forward several years, she worked side by side with Neal Bodenheimer at the Delachaise Wine Bar in New Orleans for three years until his departure to open Cure Cocktail Lounge. Lisa followed her mentor and was a part of the opening crew, helping to build and innovate an unparalleled cocktail program with the likes of Kirk Estopinal, Maks Pazuniak, Rhiannon Enlil and Nick Detrich.  Looking for another city in which to hone her skills as a service industry professional, she moved to Chicago and found a family in the One-Off Restaurant Group, where she worked at tequila and taco haven, Big Star. She befriended the neighbors at the James Beard Award winning cocktail lounge, the Violet Hour, where she fell in with Robert Haynes and Henry Prendergast. In 2013, Lisa helped to open Analogue Bar with New Orleans friend and chef Alfredo Nogueira along with the Violet Hour veterans, Haynes and Prendergrast. Multi-tasking as a bartender, manager, event coordinator and booker as well as in-house music curator, Lisa was able to tie several of her passions together with the help of her friends and collaborators. In Chicago, Lisa spent most of her free time engrossing herself in the Windy City’s multiple music communities and collecting vinyl from every era of punk, glam, soul, power pop and garage rock. She hosted several all-vinyl DJ residencies with local bars and venues such as Sportsman’s Club, Punch House, the Charleston, the Empty Bottle, the Rainbo Club, Soho House, the Owl and more.  Currently, Lisa is the beverage program manager at the upcoming oyster/cocktail bar concept being developed by the Ace Hotel in partnership with Grand Banks of NYC, located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. In addition to her passion for cocktails, she is an avid student of sake and sake making techniques. In 2014, she was named a Certified Sake Professional by the Sake Education Council.

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