Jägermeister's Balanced Bartender: Amie Ward and Nicholas Amano-Dolan
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Balanced Bartender

Stay healthy, Bar Meisters

Amie Ward with Jenny Nguyen

Amie Ward, with Jenny Nguyen

Hello everyone! Welcome to our October Balanced Bartender pep talk! We're in Portland this month to talk with Jenny Nguyen about the hospitality industry.

Scroll down for the full article!


    What was your inspiration for creating your bar?
    I have been a women’s sports fan my whole life. So when I got to an age where I could go out, I wanted to go places where sports were being played — places I could eat, drink and celebrate with my friends! But so many times, women’s sports was either not shown or those spaces didn’t feel comfortable and/or safe for me. The more people I talked to, the more I realized that it wasn’t just me and my friends; that it was a universal experience for many, many people. I felt the need for spaces MEANT for us, that represent us and celebrate us — a place where we belong.

    What impact has the bar had on the PDX hospitality community?
    Over the last 20 years, there’s been a dramatic and tragic disappearance of queer spaces. I think one of the most drastic impacts the bar has on the PDX community that I didn’t anticipate, was the acceptance as a safe, queer place. I had always intended for the bar to be for everyone, but I had initially opened it to address the lack of representation, access and culture of women’s sports in bars. Becoming a queer Mecca has been a pleasant bonus!

    How do you maintain balance as a business owner in this industry?
    Oh isn’t that the holy grail for everyone?! At first, it just wasn’t possible. I was eating, sleeping, breathing and dreaming about the bar and was spending 20 hours a day here. But now with a well-trained and dedicated team, I am able to go for walks, meditate and get back to a few of my hobbies. Finding that time and space is so beneficial. It not only strengthens me as human but also as a boss, leader, mentor and friend.

    What was your inspiration for creating your bar?
    I have been a women’s sports fan my whole life. So when I got to an age where I could go out, I wanted to go places where sports were being played — places I could eat, drink and celebrate with my friends! But so many times, women’s sports was either not shown or those spaces didn’t feel comfortable and/or safe for me. The more people I talked to, the more I realized that it wasn’t just me and my friends; that it was a universal experience for many, many people. I felt the need for spaces MEANT for us, that represent us and celebrate us — a place where we belong.

    What impact has the bar had on the PDX hospitality community?
    Over the last 20 years, there’s been a dramatic and tragic disappearance of queer spaces. I think one of the most drastic impacts the bar has on the PDX community that I didn’t anticipate, was the acceptance as a safe, queer place. I had always intended for the bar to be for everyone, but I had initially opened it to address the lack of representation, access and culture of women’s sports in bars. Becoming a queer Mecca has been a pleasant bonus!

    How do you maintain balance as a business owner in this industry?
    Oh isn’t that the holy grail for everyone?! At first, it just wasn’t possible. I was eating, sleeping, breathing and dreaming about the bar and was spending 20 hours a day here. But now with a well-trained and dedicated team, I am able to go for walks, meditate and get back to a few of my hobbies. Finding that time and space is so beneficial. It not only strengthens me as human but also as a boss, leader, mentor and friend.


    Every month we like to provide a wellness challenge to our viewers --would you be so kind as to give us the challenge for the month of October?
    Every day I try to go for a 15-30 minute walk. Ideally I take 2 each day, one in the morning to start my day and one in the evening to decompress. My wellness challenge is for folks to get outside and walk for 15 minutes. Take your time, look up, listen. Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and slowly out your mouth. It’s incredible what it can do.


    How can people stay in the know with everything the bar has going on (website, social media, etc.)?
    You can find us at NE 25th & Broadway in Portland, OR! We are also very active on Instagram, that’s the best way to keep most up to date on all the happs. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter (I refuse to call it X).


    Get To Know
    Jenny Nguyen
     Jenny Nguyen

    Jenny Nguyen picked up a basketball right around the same time she put down her milk bottle. From an early age, people called her a tomboy. Instead of playing with dolls and wearing dresses, she climbed trees and rode bikes. But most of all, she loved to play basketball. That love shaped her whole identity and helped her to fit in all the way through high school. When she was 19 years old in her first year playing college ball at Clark College, Nguyen ruptured her ACL. She was devastated by the career-ending injury but stumbled upon a newfound passion: cooking. She cooked all through college, first for her roommate, then for the whole floor, and then for the entire dorm. She landed her first kitchen job at age 22 and fell in love with the craft all over again. After graduating from college, Nguyen enrolled at the WesternCulinary Institute in downtown Portland. There she graduated from the expedited program while working full time at a couple of fine-dining restaurants. When she was in the kitchen, Nguyen was in her element. The zone. The basketball court and the kitchen have been the only two places she has ever felt like she belonged. Later, she realized that both those places are very male-dominated and that she had struggled, endured, and found success in her own way. She went on to work her way up in kitchens for another 15 years, with the last four years as an executive chef at Reed College for Bon Appétit Management Company

    Get To Know The Healthtender
    Amie Ward
     Amie Ward

    Amie Ward is a Veteran Bartender, exercise physiologist and has been outspoken on her fellow service industry members' health and wellness. When she is not pulling trucks and training for Strongwoman competitions, you can find Amie appreciating the finer things in life like Jägermeister.

    IG: @thehealthtender

    Website:  The Healthtender

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