Working as a bartender at Hyde Bellagio isn’t like working as a bartender in any other nightclub, because Hyde isn’t just a nightclub.
Sure, when things heat up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, these guys need to crank out the vodka sodas at a furious pace. But Hyde is open every night as a lounge first, and that requires finesse and serious craft cocktail capabilities.
Mark Evans feels equally comfortable in both of the Bellagio venue’s atmospheres. “The lounge and nightclub are separate staff, except for the bar. We work everything, from lounge to nightclub to private events,” says Evans, who paid his dues at Surrender before moving to Hyde three years ago. “We do have a mid-shift, where you’ll be in the lounge for a few hours and it transitions into the nightclub, so you can get both. It can get interesting. You’ve got to be ready for everything.”
That can mean dabbling in new flavors or sitting down and getting to know new customers. It can also mean fueling one of Hyde’s notorious XIV Sessions, which just happened to be one of Evans’ favorite parties before he joined the team here.
“Those can get a crazy and are always a lot of fun,” he says. “There’s always that house-party vibe here, because it’s a boutique club, more intimate, and I think that’s what people like most about it.”
The Providence, Rhode Island, native says he has enjoyed working in Vegas since arriving about five years ago, and quickly developed an appreciation for how close the industry community can be. (“Everybody knows everybody.”) He began his hospitality career back home after four years active duty in the Air Force stationed in Tampa, and though he worked all types of venues—from bars to restaurants to clubs—nothing could really prepare him for Vegas life.
“My favorite was probably the college bar I worked right out of the military, because I was a 22-year-old kid working with my friends and having fun in a very busy place,” he says. “But it’s absolutely the same here. I love the staff. We’re all friends outside of work and we have a great rapport.”