ASK YOUR BARTENDER: The Stewed Cow’s Natasha Velasquez
The Stewed Cow (400 Adams Street) calls itself “the only Bourbon bar with a Mechanical Bull in Hoboken.” If those two things don’t grab your attention to make you want to go, then maybe its extensive menu might—a mix of “saloon bits” (e.g. Campfire Nachos, Buffalo Calamari, Bourbon Chili & Chips), “heartier selections” (e.g. Swordfish Kabobs, Stuffed Trout), burgers, salads, and brunch favorites.
Although it also calls itself “a watering hole worthy enough to have attracting the likes of Doc Holiday, Johnny Ringo and Wyatt Earp,” The Stewed Cow is also a sports bar of sorts. It shows the games you would expect to see on big screens. In turn, the establishment provides a healthy mix of old-school and new-school.
Ilya Taleysnik in management for the establishment directed me to bartender Natasha Velasquez for some Q&A. Natasha is certainly full of the spirit that you hope your local bartender would be.
hMAG: Where was your first gig as a bartender?
The Stewed Cow’s Natasha Velasquez: My first gig as a bartender was at a sports bar called Bazookas. I was just legal enough to serve liquor but not drink it.
H: What was it that made you want to become a bartender?
N: I had been a server at Bazookas for about a year and grew respectively close to my peer bartenders. I admired their charisma and confidence to move a crowd but mostly the hustle. See, there’s a challenge in bartending, kind of like science, not everyone gets it (laughs).
H: What is your favorite part about bartending?
N: Everything about working the bar keeps me on my toes, but I’d like to say the amazing customers-turned-friends I’ve made along the way.
H: What is the most annoying thing a patron has ever done to get your attention?
N: You think of it, I’ve gone through it. #bartenderproblems
H: What do you like to do with yourself when not on-shift?
N: Like many bartenders and servers, I’m in school studying, but on my time off from both the bar and the books I enjoy being outdoors, bike-riding, and playing volleyball for Zog Sports Hoboken. Usually, after games, my team and I head to The Stewed Cow for the Zoggers Special that includes $9 pitchers of beer.
H: Aside from The Stewed Cow, do you have a favorite bar in Hoboken?
N: I only have eyes for Frankie—that’s our bull’s name, by the way.
H: What’s the longest amount of time you’ve remained on the bull?
N: Let’s just say I’m no John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, and more of a compilation of YouTube bull-riding fails. Still, I encourage everyone to ride for the thrill!
H: If someone hasn’t been to The Stewed Cow yet, how would you describe it?
N: Simple! We are the only bourbon bar with a mechanical bull in Hoboken! We have 20 different draft beers, specialty burgers, and it’s all served to you by awesome, knowledgeable staff! Who can pass that up? Take a look at our Instagram page (@thestewedcow) for our daily specials including Happy Hours every Monday-Friday from 5 to 8pm!
H: Any events coming up at the bar that people ought to know about?
N: Our managers are always planning something. We had National Bourbon Day on June 14th. We’re going to have a Sam Adams Independence Beer Week (June 29th – July 5th) with Sam Adams Beer Flights. We’re doing $3 Fireball and $5 Jameson shots on Friday and Saturday late nights now. There’s always something!
H: Finally, Natasha, any last words for the kids?
N: Whiskey is the answer! I don’t remember the question…