Morgan at Bailey’s Cafe. Photos by Dev Dinon
Editor’s Note: The Crowd Pleaser feature story is designed to give a salute to those in Saratoga’s hospitality industry who make our good times better.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Bailey’s Café and its track-record-time, energetic turnaround in our market – as a result of infusion of new ownership to the mix – has been explored.
It is a major success story of this year, and we aren’t even done with February yet!
Clam bakes. Wing offs. Ice bars. Bailey’s has “re-destinationed” itself (and I know that’s not a word, but tough – it says it!) The corner of Phila and Putnam Streets is alive again.
And here’s why.
Because the owners (Joseph Richardson, Sam Bottini and Matthew Beecher) are smart enough to know they need a team to make a machine. So they cultivate and secure the top talent to get the job done.
In my previous article announcing new owners Matt and Sam, I used baseball analogies… so, let’s do it further:
Meet the clean-up hitter in Bailey’s lineup.
Prime-time bartender. And, from what we can see – most everything else. I have no idea whether Morgan follows baseball or not (though we did cover a lot in our chat), but she is the epitome of the word “Slugger!”
At a young age, Morgan has compiled quite a resume – with prior experience at Spa City Tap and Barrel, The Bourbon Room, Caroline St. Pub (CSP for those in the industry,) and The Reserve – all on Caroline.
She was a big part of the sea change, which brought a lot of customer bodies over to Phila for their evening’s tavern rotation. At the time she made the move, though, it was no sure thing.
“Life is all about taking risks,” Morgan says, “If you never take a risk, you will never achieve your dreams.”
“And Bailey’s has the best atmosphere. The bartending crew makes it happen – we have all kinds of personalities going on!” she continued. “This is the place. Spacious, inside or out on the heated patio.”
It says here that the bar is quite a bit less spacious when Morgan, a native of Cambridge, is behind it, though. You can see her behind the bar mostly from Tuesday-Saturday.
But you can also see her making weekly schedules and doing management stuff here and there. The owners appear to remember how valuable THAT experience was when they were line staff.
So, let us dig deeper into Bailey’s success… Hail to the people who do the work! And say hello to Morgan.
Q: What’s your “usual”? (Favorite Shift Drink or Cocktail?)
M: “I’m pretty varied… It can go from Jamo (Jameson) + Ginger to Raspberry Vodka + Lemonade… and you can always talk me into a car bomb!”
Q: Quality recognizes quality. If not at Bailey’s who would be your choice (person or place) to have it served to you?
M: “Any of the bartenders at CSP, Bourbon Room or The Reserve – my former places… Got to also give a shout to Brent at The (Saratoga City) Tavern too!”
Q: Bailey’s has some great musicians… Who would you go to see on your night off?
M: “Hands down – Rich Ortiz.”
Q: Complete this sentence: I get a day/night off. I…
M: “Usually it’s dinner and movies… sometimes it’s just great to relax at home – I do spend a lot of time with my dog, Jaxon! Also, getting together with friends and pretend it’s the weekend – which my days off rarely are.”
Q: Describe a perfect date…
M: “I’d have to go with April 25 – not to hot or too cold, all you need is a light jacket… OK, really, if you can surprise me in some way, that’s perfect!”
Q: Last vacation. Where did you go?
M: “My last REAL vacation was in Cabo. But my last time off for a few days I hit music festivals in Baltimore, Dover and Scranton.”
Q: How about your dream vacation?
M: “A month-long trip traveling to different beaches around the world…”
Q: Dumbest thing I ever did at work…
M: “I actually let someone snort salt off the bar!”
Q: Last Movie?
Q: Fave TV Show?
M: “Law and Order: SVU”
Q: Food – My Guilty Pleasure is…
M: “Taco Bell! I know, don’t judge me…”
Q: Favorite Sports Team?
M: “Miami Dolphins”
Q: Customer from hell/goofy customer: Everyone has one of “those” customer stories. Tell us yours…(first name or no name only pls.)
M: “Let’s call him ‘Mr. Karaoke.’ He comes to see me at Bailey’s, always on his way to perform at some karaoke – he goes to these things 4-5-6 times a week! It’s not unusual for him to burst into song… often.
“He’s pretty good, but his knowledge and repertoire is really something.
“I look at it this way. When it’s my bar – it’s my rules. A whole bar singing… there are worse things. Don’t take life so seriously, people! You’ll never get out alive.”
For all things Bailey’s, visit BaileysCafe.com