Thuy Nguyen slings drinks, spreads love on queer Atlanta nightlife

Add this share

Thuy Nguyen (pronounced “twee win”) is a queer Atlanta bartending veteran with serious skills. In fact, her expertise comes with a crown.

In 2016, Nguyen won the Atlanta leg of the Stoli Cocktail Classic competition for America’s best LGBTQ bartender. Although she didn’t take the crown in the national final, she did get an all-expenses paid trip to Key West for her troubles.

Q bellied up to the bar to chat with Nguyen about memorable nightlife moments, her Olympic aspirations, and her secret to being a great bartender.

What was your childhood like?

I grew up everywhere, but I was mostly based out of Guam doing judo throughout my childhood and traveling everywhere competing and fighting.

My childhood was great. My parents didn’t have much, but they made sure I had great birthday parties and that we were loved.

What led you to bartending?

I got into bartending because I was broke and was trying to pay for my judo. I made my attempts at the Olympic Trials a couple times, but I was unsuccessful.

Along the way, I realized how much I love bartending. I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I love people, and I love making drinks. I was told once I had the gift of gab.

What’s your most unforgettable bartending memory?

I was having a horrible time one year. I got into a car accident and a breakup all in one week. But then a [Frogs] regular came in and made me forget everything and made me appreciate life.

She told me that she just lost her mother, and that I can get a new car and a new girlfriend, “but I can never get my mom back.” She said to cheer up kiddo, life is too short.

What’s the secret to being a great bartender?

To treat people the way you want to be treated, with kindness and love. Sometimes people don’t come for the food or drinks. They come for some love.

What’s your go-to drink on your off time?

My go to drink is a double Maker’s Mark on the rocks. Although I am a known mixologist, I like simple and strong cocktails.

Catch Nguyen behind the bar at BJ’s on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and at Frogs on Fridays from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. Photo by Russ Youngblood.

This feature originally ran in Q magazine. Read thedigital edition here.

Pick up a new issue of Q each week at LGBTQ and allied venues across Atlanta.

THE LATEST

Biden’s Georgia campaign gets backing of 48 LGBTQ leaders

The Joe Biden campaign named four-dozen elected officials, faith leaders, non-profit leaders, business owners and other community leaders to its Georgia LGBTQ Leadership Council...

‘TikTok sisters’ drive views, LGBTQ attitudes amid cancer battle

At first glance, you might not think siblings whose styles diverge so much would be super close. Maybe you wouldn’t imagine them collaborating on...

LGBTQ activists sue Georgia Capitol police over arrests

Two LGBTQ activists joined a state senator and others in a federal lawsuit over their arrests during a protest at the Georgia State Capitol. The...

Pandemic worsens housing crisis for trans women in Atlanta

A new Atlanta non-profit placed more than 30 homeless transgender women in transitional housing and gave $108,000 to 150 other trans people across Georgia...

Why Midtown isn’t Atlanta’s only LGBTQ anchor anymore

As some incessant chatter goes, monied yuppies in reversed suburban flight ruined Midtown, and LGBTQ Atlanta is worse for it. We fixed up the place, and...
17,369FansLike
5,928FollowersFollow
7,636FollowersFollow

PHOTO GALLERIES