They’re on the bar. On the stage. Dancing through the crowd. The bartenders at the new Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer are like a well-crafted whiskey cocktail: smooth, strong and sexy with a nice, stiff, fishnet-clad kick.
Ashley Valley (pictured below) and the all-female cast of drink-slingers do more than mix shots and serve beers at the Excalibur restaurant and nightspot that’s celebrating its grand opening December 8, with Lynyrd Skynyrd in attendance. They’re trained dancers who serve as part of the entertainment, performing choreographed numbers from 6 p.m. seven nights a week and multitasking even while they work their moves.
“We make drinks during our choreography,” says Valley, a Vegas native who started working in the nightlife industry four days after her 21st birthday. Valley pantomimes pouring liquor into an oversized shaker and shaking it to the beat, her asymmetrical haircut and one long, feathered earring bouncing with the movement.
While this is Valley’s first real bartending gig, she looks completely at home inside the high-ceilinged room with worn plank walls and three bars serving up a whiskey-heavy menu of cocktails and shooters designed by Bar Magic and local mixologist Tobin Ellis.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer
- At Excalibur, 597-7818
- Seven days, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
“I love the Honey Badger,” Valley says of her favorite libation, an intoxicating mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, apple cider, Whiskey Barrel bitters, Disaronno, lemon and cinnamon. “I love telling people, ‘After a few of these you’re going to be a sleepy little f*ck.’”
For those in the mood for a meatier fix, Valley also suggests the Double Wide Baconator, with Lillet Rouge, Maraschino, Angostura bitters and the star ingredient—bacon-infused SoCo Fiery Pepper. Wash it down with some Texas-style barbecue from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s buffet line and you’ve just gone country in Medieval Europe.