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Meet Jeffrey Clark of Nickel and Rye

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Clark.

Jeffrey, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started in the bar/restaurant business in Arlington working as a door guy on the side while I was leasing apartments. The fast-paced environment and interaction with guest are what caught my eye to leave leasing and pursue advancement within the entertainment industry. I worked at this college sports bar for 3 years working my way up to lead bartender/manager. I was then recommended and granted an interview at Nickel and Rye for a bartender position in which I was hired part-time while working for a local radio station.

I stayed on with Nickel and Rye as the weekend brunch bartender for about a year while I worked my way to become an event coordinator at the radio station. This point I was hardly working in the nightlife and highly involved in the events world of Dallas until my position was eliminated. I took 3 months of soul searching and picking up bar shifts here and there until I decided to pursue a management position at the place I felt like home.

Nickel and Rye is the only place I could have imagined working for and is why I have been there for 3 years. During this time, I have made my way to become Assistant General Manager while dedicating much of my free time to studying whiskey, beer, wine, and culinary history. The desire to learn more each day has not faded in these past years but has grown with every person I meet who we can inspire by our passion for what we do. The next goal is to advance to higher levels of Cicerone and obtain my bachelors in Business Administration that I am currently pursuing.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Due to the nature of the job, I had three injuries, two knee surgeries, and one shoulder surgery, that prevented me from working that made it difficult to keep my position or get it back when I was healthy. Nickel and Rye was more than willing to work with me on my last knee surgery, but it was tough financially for a few months.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Nickel and Rye was established to be a neighborhood bar for the Uptown residence with a casual setting and creative cocktails, craft beer and great whiskeys. I am the Assistant General Manager and I specialize in craft beer and whiskey knowledge. I make it a goal every day I am behind the bar to create a custom cocktail for someone new to the bar.

I am proud of the team and family atmosphere we have established to make every person welcome while offering amazing service. What sets Nickel and Rye apart from the other business is our customized flexibility to create whiskey pairing dinners to fit any occasion with the detailed presentation following each course based on whiskey is made, how does it differ and the history that affects us today.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I had a competitive drive that I still maintain today by wanting to do everything and anything possible. Wrestled in high school and college while playing the cello as well, so I consider myself fairly well rounded. I was quite an idiot when I was younger and made poor decisions regularly that opened my eyes to realize that I do not have all the answers and it allowed me to ditch aside my arrogance.

Took me a long time to find out what I wanted to do and many different paths such as, firefighting, musical performance, owning a bar, event management, and leasing. Through all those different trails I found my passion for general operations and logistics that involve solving problems.

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