The Blind Pig is a real piece of drinking history, carrying on the traditions of the prohibition era, the Pig is the island’s first and only speakeasy, hidden from public view, she is a real treasure, once found. Sitting in a secret location in St Helier there are two ways to enter, one slightly more obvious than the other, but once you’ve found the Pig, you’ll never want to forget it.
The brainchild of Brian Smith, The Blind Pig opened their doors four years ago, although this year saw them celebrate their first birthday… Yes that’s right, in typically confusing fashion the curator took full advantage of the extra day in every four years and opened on leap year back in 2012. With a seasonally changing cocktail menu you’ll never fail to find something that will delight you and all of the team behind the bar are on hand to help you decide, if you can’t.
Brian’s crack team are headed up by new addition Dominik Smajda. He hails from Slovakia, where Brian found him working behind the bar at Zahir in Nitra. It took Brian just 30 seconds to see he’s a man with talent and he offered him a job straight away, well after he’d made him the perfect Old Fashioned first.
“I started working in hospitality when I was 16 years old as a waiter. Whilst studying and learning about the hotel industry, I worked in lots of restaurants and hotels and spent a year perfecting my skills in Cyprus…but realised early on that my true passion lay within coffee and the world of cocktails!
The opportunity to fulfill my passion came shortly after I finished school and I began working at Zahir…a beautiful American cocktail bar by night and cafe by day! Here I learnt to fine tune my skills as both a cocktail bartender and Barista.
I was ready for a new journey, and had a ticket booked to head to London, but I was fortunate enough to meet Brian and be introduced to The Blind Pig and the beautiful island of Jersey that I had no idea existed!
After a few short months, I am loving my beautiful new island, appreciating the freedom and creative license I have to grow with The Blind Pig…and now I am ready to see it in the lovely summer months!
(As I sit on the fence…) I don’t have a favourite, I enjoy all cocktails prepared truly and honestly…”
Tom Allen (aka Bambi)
Bartending used to be a chore. A laborious task taken only for extra cash at the end of a week. That was until I met the likes of Brian, Denise and the rest of The Blind Pig team and was taken on as a trainee cocktail bartender… Any good bartender is happy to start at the bottom and trust me all of us started as a bar back washing glasses! From this opportunity, I found a passion for cocktail bartending and have been mad for it ever since. I’ve been a bartender at The Blind Pig for four years now and love every minute of it!
Depends on the occasion, I prefer a bitter style drink. At the moment my favourite is a Manhattan made with Hudson maple cask rye whiskey…I can drink that all day long…
Without giving away my age, I have about 17 years clocked up within the industry, Like most I got into it to earn extra pennies. The game changed a few years after I arrived in Jersey and met Brian and initially worked for him at the Alfresco events, but I was over the moon when he approached me with an offer I couldn’t refuse a few short weeks before The Blind Pig opened….I still remember the very first cocktail I made to practice (Apple and Eve for the die hard patrons of the early days); and of course, opening night 29 February 2012.
I love my rum and keep it simple for anytime and mix it up to a fabulous daiquiri when the sun goes down!
I got into bartending completely by chance after reading a list of jobs and seeing “bartender” which clicked in my head, I then went on to study at hospitality school in Toulouse and then moved to Jersey. I guess the thing I love most about bartending is the creative process behind a drink, mixing flavours, innovations and always pushing the boundaries.
The Hot Tub! I like the fact that it’s served hot, with the flavoured smoke complementing all the flavours already present in the drink itself.
You can hire out the Blind Pig for parties up to 35. The perfect place to start your special celebrations. Or how about booking a team building session, where Brian and his team will take you through a cocktail masterclass, teaching you everything you need to know about your favourite drinks, or perhaps you’re just looking for some inspiration to help you use up the remnants of an aging drinks cabinet…
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