Meet Architect-Bartender Jonathan Bailey

Jonathanby Steven Doyle

Jonathan Bailey is an award winning architect who builds multi-billion dollar children’s hospitals around the globe. He just acquired another firm overseas and took on 100’s more employees in the buyout. But the man comes from humble beginnings. As a teen Jonathan was one of the foreman at Six Flags and ran the famous flume ride. That was back when there was an evil giant wielding an ax who would nearly slice your log in two as you made the long pass up a ramp before the giant dip into that neon green water waiting below.

Now the world renowned architect is foreman of his own multi-national firm who often takes conference calls with the French government, or a team of designers in Cairo as it was earlier this week. But further into these conversations Jonathan will often cut the conferences short and bow out of the conversation as he did on Wednesday.         

“I was in the middle of this call and told Cairo I had to go to work.” Work would be his night job he holds down when in Dallas, which is just weeks out of the year since his main residence is in London. He is here more now because of his mother. The night gig is at Dish located on Cedars Springs where he slings cocktails. He is still learning on the job and uses a book for some drinks if you stump him, but he loves the work none the less.

The French government officials banter in their native tongue and then translate “he is a bartender!” Jonathan doesn’t speak much French, but he knows that phrase all too well by now.

baileyBailey builds these when not making your cocktail

Jonathan grew up with Dish owner Tim McEneny and once asked if he could work behind the bar. McEneny laughed off the request but said he could come in and watch the other barmen at work. So he did. Every night for a week before McEneny relented and allowed the millionaire (or is it billionaire… it would be tacky to ask) to work as bar back, whose job is to load ice and wash glassware.  To be a bartender you needed to pass five TABC tests and McEneny doubted his buddy would want to go through that hassle.

Weeks went by. Many weeks. Jonathan enjoyed his work and finally took and passed the tests scoring 100% in each. He would be the bartender he dreamed of being.

Jonathan’s friends in Dallas, some of our finest elite, thought their architect friend had hit hard times. Then they stop in for a visit at Dish to see he was happy and doing a particularly fine job, even if he has to use the book on occasion.

“The job relaxes me. I think one day I will retire to a beach and open a bar. Probably have a singlewide that I move around to face the sunset each day,” said Jonathan.

We asked if he would design a tricked out singlewide that could automatically follow the sun, and he replied that it would be too fancy for what he would want. It would be simpler. Having met Jonathan, I get that.

Read more about Jonathan Bailey in D Home.

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