Know Your ‘Tender: Primrose Barkeep Chris Simpson

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Primrose Barkeep Chris Simpson
Primrose Barkeep Chris Simpson

S&C: How’d you end up in Steamboat? 

I’m from Houston, Texas, originally, but came here in 2009 after a summer at Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park. I went on a bit of a hiatus in 2012 and recently returned in June.

S&C: What’s your bartending background?  

I began as a regular line cook in 2005. My first bartending gig was at Carl’s in 2011, and I’ve been doing it fulltime since 2020. Most of my craft cocktail experience was in the Hudson Valley for the last three years.

S&C: What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love to help our guests find their new favorite drink. Preferably something they’ve never considered before.

S&C: What’s the secret to being a good bartender?

Being able to know where to direct your energy. I look at it as an amalgamation of artisanry and crowd control.

Primrose Barkeep Chris Simpson
Primrose Barkeep Chris Simpson

S&C: What’s your drink of choice?  

My favorite classic cocktail is a Last Word and my overall favorite would be a Trinidad Sour.

I no longer partake myself, however, so nowadays I appreciate a solid root beer.

S&C: Favorite drink to make?  

Right now I’m having fun experimenting with fat washing spirits. We have a dry pear martini at Primrose that utilizes ghee-washed Mythology vodka that’s really nice.

S&C: Most important skills for a bartender?  

Being able to precisely balance cocktails while entertaining your guests.

S&C: Any hobbies outside of work?

Most of my free time is spent outdoors and saving up for my next live music adventure.

S&C: What do you love about Steamboat? 

I love the community we have here. Being able to enjoy the mountains and rivers while also having a great live music scene is a gift I cherish. I’m really excited about the Spafford shows at OTP this winter.

S&C: Anything else we should know about you?  

My entire purpose in this industry is to give people a little more joy in their lives.