[Spotlights] Raising the Bar
Ivy adds the right mix to the posh Bösendorfer Lounge.
“Ohh, the place is beautiful,” giggles the buxom blonde as she slides onto one of the barstools at the Bösendorfer Lounge at the Grand Bohemian Hotel one evening.
“I never get this perspective!”
For five years Ivy, (“Just Ivy, thanks,”) has reigned over the opposite side of the bar as the go-to gal for smart company and great cocktails. Undoubtedly, Ivy’s wholesome good looks and habit of punctuating nearly every sentence with a sweet, goofy giggle have won her a following, but Jack Eisenbach, a Bösendofer regular, says there is more to it.
“There is an art to her service. She hits every note you’d expect from a place like this,” he says, referring to Bösendorfer’s posh atmosphere. “Yet, she makes it as comfortable as any neighborhood dive.”
Ivy’s secret is the desire to please. She flatters her customers by taking a genuine interest in what they like. She asks what her guest’s liquor of choice is and ferrets out preferences in flavors until she hits upon the perfect concoction.
Though she didn’t invent it, Ivy’s signature drink is the “Soprano” (vodka, splashes of Frangelico, Baileys and Kahlua and a shot of espresso), a libation so popular that it’s more often referred to as “The Ivy.” She says customers visiting other bars have called her up asking for the recipe.
Ivy often goes into the field to sniff out drink and culinary trends. “I love talking food and wine.” But like any professional—she’s been bartending for 20 years—she’s decidedly mum when it comes to divulging the amount of the biggest tip she has received. (She’ll only say it was a four-figure sum.)