THE GUY NEXT DOOR: Jay Jones

Things to do in Vancouver  |  12.10.2013  |  

Jay Jones

We’re kicking off a new series on The Burrard’s blog, introducing you to some of our friends and neighbours. They’re all skookum people to know, smart as all get-out, and opinionated in a totally good way. They know Vancouver inside and out, and each of them have some excellent advice for enjoying Vancouver.

First in our series is Jay Jones from Donnelly Group, a guy who may in fact need no introduction to those who have spent some time warming Vancouver’s barstools. Among the group’s 18 Vancouver hotspots, our favourites include downtown’s brand-new Blackbird, Killjoy – down the road from us in Yaletown, and The Queen’s Republic on Granville Street for no-holds-barred dancing around our purse. Visit any of them and you’ll encounter the fine work executed Mr. Jones and his team.


You can call me:
Bartender, Barkeep or Barman. Anything but Mixologist.

Where do you work and what do you do there?
I’m Executive Bartender & Brand Ambassador for The Donnelly Group, leading development of our bartenders’ abilities and knowledge, beverage programs, venue management and media development for our broad range of hospitality venues.

How did you find yourself doing this?
I’ve been lucky to spend so many years in hospitality, beverage and related media – my friends at Donnelly Group created a unique position for me to help develop the growth of the company. I get to do work I love and influence so many bartenders and guests’ experiences.

If you’re behind the bar, what should we never order?
My guests should never feel limited in what to order. I’m there to provide hospitality – that can come in to the form of providing guidance and crafting a personalized experience, or simply crafting the best version of the guest’s request that I can possibly make. It’s all about the guests’ interests, not my own.

Morning-after strategy?
Have another drink. A hangover is equal parts: self-pity and alcohol deprivation. Have a small drink as soon as you get up the ‘morning-after’ and your system will have a better chance of levelling out. The key is avoiding peaks or valleys in alcohol consumption or avoidance.

Thing that you love about Vancouver?
Everything. If you travel often, there’s no better place to call home. Vancouver has had big-city aspirations, but it will always have a small-town familiarity that makes it special (beyond natural beauty). Oh, and the bar scene is awesome.

Thing that drives you crazy about Vancouver?
The frigging Canucks. But I still love ‘em…

Someone’s visiting Vancouver for the first time and has just 24 hours. How would you suggest they spend them?
On the right bar stools, with the right bartenders: Uva (Lauren), Yew (Justin), PiDGiN (Robyn), The Keefer (Danielle), West (David), Fairmont Pacific Rim (Grant), MARKET (Roland), The Blackbird (Brad), Blue Water Café (Evelyn), The Shebeen (Randy), Gringo (Shoel), L’Abattoir (Shaun). That’s 12 bars – 2 hours per bar. Easy.

Backpack or wheelie suitcase?
Neither. Suit bag and bar kit.

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