Bartender family

Local bartender serves customers like family

Natalie Bates worked every job she came across growing up, ranging from pet sitting, babysitting and selling lemonade. Now as a senior elementary education major, Bates serves drinks as a bartender at DLuxe.

“It’s nice, because I can be social, drink and meet my friends,” she said. “I don’t have to drink as much and still focus on my school work at the same time.”      

Bates said getting hired was the easy part of the job, but on Cinco de Mayo, she was thrown in behind the bar.       

“Two or three of us that never bartended were behind the bar,” she said. “My boss’s wife was back there. She taught us how to pour your shots, and then you just kind of go. It was a trial and error.”     

Since then, Bates has become a quick and efficient bartender. Her boss and the co-owner of DLuxe, Matt Overmyer, said she possesses a great work ethic.    

“She tries to make sure she’s always doing the right thing,” Overmyer said. “She’s the nicest person I’ve met from Indianapolis, but after so many rude customers, don’t mess [with] her.”       

Bates works Thursday to Saturday when DLuxe is busy and tightly packed with thirsty customers.

“For the first couple hours, it’s steady,” Bates said. “Then all of a sudden, it comes out of nowhere. It’ll be swarmed with people, and you don’t have any time to yourself. Then it won’t die down until you have to make everyone leave.”        

Bates said she comes across both friendly and rude people, but she becomes a mom and caretaker to the customers who just had too much to drink.     

“I’ll get water if they’ve drank too much,” she said. “We’ll hold your hair if you’re puking or call a cab. When you enter the doors, you are our family and friends.”        

The bartenders at DLuxe are like family, Bates said. Because it is a smaller bar, the bartenders also really get to know their customers and become friends.       

“My job has taught me a lot about networking and making connections with people,” Bates said. “The people who work with can make all the difference in the world. Everyone here is like a family. We have each other’s backs.”