Gabrielle Jesus exudes all the warmth, humor and bonhomie a person could want in a bartender. Stationed behind the counter in the cozy confines of The Vintage on Lincoln Street, Jesus — who goes by Gabby — says she’s passionate about the drinks she makes, but even more so the people she serves.
“I am people-curious,” she says, adding that the most important aspect of serving the public is making eye contact. “Especially if the bar is really busy,” Jesus says. “If you just kind of ignore them, it pisses them off.”
A California transplant, Jesus says she fell in love with Eugene after moving here three years ago from Watsonville, near “the salad bowl of America,” she notes. “I love the entertainment scene around here,” she says. “Everyone’s kind here, too, comparably.”
It’s that “comparably” that reveals Jesus’ sly wit, which she’s translated into a gig as a local stand-up comic — something she started pursuing after she started working at The Vintage. “Making people laugh, it’s great,” she says, describing her brand of comedy as “blue humor” derived from “real-life” stuff like motherhood. She nods to Bill Hicks and Sarah Silverman as two of her favorite comics.
Jesus will be performing her stand-up Feb. 24 in “Saturday Night Funny” at First National Taphouse, but in the meantime, she’d be happy to muddle a cocktail for you at The Vintage. “I like making drinks,” she says. “I like tasting them. You see the look on people’s face after you make them a good drink — they’re just delighted. It gives me a little tickle inside.”
The Vintage is open 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am to 10 pm Friday through Sunday at 837 Lincoln Street; eugenevintage.com or 541-349-9181.