If you talk to anyone who’s been bartending long enough, you’re bound to hear some serious insight into the human psyche. If there’s one truth you discover behind the bar, it’s that we are all creatures of habit. Rather than fight our true nature, sometimes it’s better to embrace it.
That’s why when you walk into Scotty Quixx, your usual drink is waiting for you on the bar. When you sit down, you’ll see the same groups of friends hanging out, regulars bunny-hopping each other on the jukebox and laughing, and the manager Lyndsay Blair sneaking Harry Potter on a TV somewhere. We made the trip down to Lyndsay’s bar to hear more about the rituals of Scotty Quixx that make this beach bar both a destination and a pit stop for folks from all walks of life.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m the manager of Scotty Quixx off Birdneck Road. This location has been open for about four years, and our original location on Virginia Beach Boulevard has been open for seven years.
How did you get into bartending?
I started out in the restaurant business when I was sixteen as a hostess and busser. Over the years as I was finishing school, I moved to serving tables, then to bartending, then into management. I’ve been bartending off and on for nine years. Honestly, the money is what attracted me to being behind the bar and is what kept me coming back.
Any hobbies / side gigs / secret identities?
When I’m not working, I’m at home hanging out with my animals. Puppies are my hobby. Well, also cats, bunnies, squirrels and birds. I got a backyard full. I also love to watch the History Channel: Ms. Marple and Murder, She Wrote, because I’m secretly 70 years old.
Favorite drink to make:
Shooters, or fancy craft cocktails when I can. We don’t get to do that a lot at Scotty Quixx, so on the rare occasion someone wants something special, it is enjoyable to make. I have also been told I make a mean Lemon Drop.
Favorite drink to sip:
Favorite “guilty pleasure” drink:
Diet Coke. Seriously. I’m a fiend for it. As far as booze goes, my taste buds have changed over the years. Never thought I’d grow away from the light beer and shots. But when I do indulge in an adult beverage these days, it’s been a mule, wheat beer, or glass of wine.
What's the vibe at Scotty Quixx?
Scotty Quixx is a super laid-back and friendly neighborhood bar. We are both a destination and pit stop. It’s a place you can stop at on the way home from work, on the way out for the night, the last stop before going home after a night out, or just because you don’t want to sit at home. We have a lot of people call or text us that they’re bored and are coming up to sit and hang out. We’ve been dubbed the living room, decompression tank, etc.
Who typically comes in?
We have a really good mix of all ages and types of people. We have families, construction workers, business professionals, etc. We have just as many people over the age of 50 sitting at the bar joking on us, as we do under the age of 30. Everyone fits in. Everyone gets along. And everyone makes friends.
What makes your bar unique?
The copious amounts of M&Ms, candy, and snacks that we offer to everyone. Probably the only place you’ll hear a customer jokingly order lasagna and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and they get a Miller Light draft and a handful of M&Ms instead. Every day I have someone bringing me M&Ms, whether it’s to be nice or to keep me happy when I’m getting my butt kicked during football Sundays.
I also think we're much different from other bars in the area. Besides the ridiculous amount of candy on the bar that I mentioned, we really connect with the folks that come in here. We will learn your name and drink quickly, and we will remember your puppy’s name and kid’s name. We care about our customers because they really are our friends. Not just our front of the house staff either. Our kitchen manager and cooks are always coming out to say hi or hang out if they have a second.
What makes for a "perfect bartender"?
Having the ability to read people makes for a great bartender. Anyone can follow a recipe or learn how to make drinks, but it’s knowing what people need, want, or expect that sets you apart. Do they need a laugh, do they need to vent, do they need to be left alone to work or think? Do they need more ranch dressing? Or the answer to the trivia question just asked? I love anticipating what people need or want, whether it’s a drink, service, or personal interaction. I always say it’s what I would want if I were sitting there.
How has the bar scene here changed?
With the huge growth of interest in craft beers, bourbons and whiskey, we see a lot more classic cocktails being ordered now, when years ago it was all Jäger bombs and Bud Light. We have a lot more Old Fashioned's, vodka martinis and Manhattans ordered these days. I'm a big fan of the change. Bartending is definitely coming full circle and returning to its roots as an art form. Makes you want to brush up on the history and basics, and learn what’s new.
Can you share a Belle Isle cocktail with us?
I'm a big fan of mules, so when one of our liquor reps introduced me to Belle Isle Honey Habanero, I absolutely fell in love with it and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Now I search bar shelves for Belle Isle whenever I’m out. This is definitely my new favorite drink to push at the bar whenever someone is unsure of what to drink.
As for the name, it was actually inspired by a couple of regulars. Over time, we’ve been given tons of nicknames: Squixx, Sqx Jr., etc. One day a group of guys, headed by our good friends Josh and Jason, decided to come up with a nickname for the opposite of Scotty Quixx. Not sure if it was for fun or if they needed a secret codeword - not sure I want to know, either. Naturally, the opposite of Scotty Quixx came to be Tommy Long Times. Made perfect sense.
- 1 ½ oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero
- 6 oz. ginger beer
- 1/6 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 lime wedge for garnish
Fill copper mule mug with ice. Pour in Belle Isle Honey Habanero, then top with ginger beer. Add fresh squeezed lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.