Featured Bartender; Bethany Alyssa Nardi
Granite Bay, California
Bethany’s maiden initials are BAR so it seems it was always meant to be. She started in the industry in 2006 as a server in a little family run Italian restaurant called Strings. She was working towards her fashion design degree at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. Bethany found passion in the fashion industry and quickly became the fashion club president at the age of 19. She ran the club for two years where she designed future trends, ran modeling calls, fundraised, budgeted funds, and put on fashion shows. Although she earned her certificate in design, it turned out the restaurant industry had captivated her heart and that became her career path.
In 2011, she started bartending at a corporate restaurant called Red Robin. She was obsessed with being behind the bar! She enjoyed leveraging her previous years of serving to foster more personal connections with guests at her bar. Before she knew it, eight years had passed and, in that time, she not only honed her bartending skills but also tied the knot with her husband and welcomed two out of her three kids into the world. Like many, life threw a few changes her way, and she realized she needed and wanted something more.
She embarked on a journey, gaining valuable experiences at various fine dining establishments from Lincoln to Sacramento, eventually landing in Granite Bay, where she currently bartends.
In 2021, she secured a spot at Hawks Restaurant in Granite Bay just as the restaurant began to reopen after pandemic shutdowns. She quickly fell in love with the overall concept, serving classically prepared, seasonal dishes and drinks with fine dining execution. She was graciously welcomed by Mike Fagnoni and Molly Hawks (chef owners and operators of Hawks) and proved herself quickly, creatively developing drinks for the bar program.
They inspired her to intertwine my design talents and love for the craft. Just as their dinner tasting menu, her cocktails follow the seasons, with fresh ingredients provided by local vendors for Hawks. She styles each cocktail in a way that is both well-balanced and visually stunning!
Since the pandemic the perception of the food and cocktail world has changed and, in her opinion, people want to taste with their eyes first and want a photo-worthy experience. Bethany thinks the guests “want to feel special with a gorgeous drink in front of them, as if that drink was conceived with them in mind.”
During her journey at Hawks Restaurant, she welcomed her 3rd baby. Like most of us in the industry she couldn’t do what she does behind the bar without her amazing bar team.
She has an amazing program where they all get together and collaborate seasonally on new cocktail menus. Marc Jensen oversees our bar program as the beverage director and head Sommelier. Greg Miszti is the bar manager and has really taken Bethany under his wing and showed her a lot throughout the years on how to correctly execute a balanced cocktail. Luis Garcia and Jamie Wie are my fellow bartenders. Hawks has allowed her to grow tremendously and for that she is very grateful.
After 18 years in the industry and 13 years as a bartender, she decided to enter the Barboss competition where she quickly realized how many people love to see my creations. She was incredibly humbled to make it into the semifinals where she was able to create her cocktail using Dos Hombres Mezcal.
The feedback and support she received was overwhelming, and is very appreciative for the opportunity to share her craft with the world!
We cannot wait to see what is next for Bethany and will be watching closely!
Follow Bethany on her IG @ bartender_bethany