Phil Clark is the new face behind the bar at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails in Downtown Phoenix, and he’s just released an impressive menu with 11 original, innovative cocktails. After just a few weeks on the menu, Phil’s “Junglebird” has taken over as the most-ordered cocktail, knocking the four-year reigning Lawless from the top spot. Learn more about Phil…
Hometown: Cape May, NJ
First job: My first official job was at 14 years old, as a busser at a 210-seat beachfront restaurant. I was addicted to the energy of the restaurant business pretty early on!
Favorite AZ restaurant: Pizzeria Bianco. For a Northeasterner, few things stir the soul like exceptional pizza. Crispy thin crust with chewy edges, deep and flavorful sauce, and exceptional ingredients; it’s not surprising that this is pizza mecca for so many.
Person who has impacted your life the most: Few things in life matter more than timing, and when I was facing the biggest crossroads in my life, it was my grandmother who provided the most impactful support. Without her, it would be hard to imagine all of the other wonderful parts of my life unfolding the way that they have.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: In 2012, I read an article about Nick Saban and “The Process” that he implemented at Alabama to produce a culture of championships. Essentially, he and his staff don’t talk about titles and trophies; they focus only on perfectly completing the task immediately in front of them. That philosophy saved my life. In practice, I don’t focus on long-term goals, ambitions, or accomplishments; I focus only on sharpening the process for developing what I feel are the best practices of success.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Learning to ignore the questions about when I was going to get a “real” job. It was only through the help and support of my wife, Amanda, that I realized that the restaurant business wasn’t going to be a lily-pad gig for me; it was a career, and it was home.
Someone who inspires you: My daughter is an uncommonly strong motivation for me. It’s hard to articulate how profound the impact of her life has been on my career, and how adroitly she has shaken-up the rankings of what I prioritize most when determining my path.
Favorite quote: “Success isn’t owned, it’s leased- and rent is due every day.”
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Work hard, work often, and read as much as you can. There’s no “school” that can replace reps behind the bar or the mind-mapping that develops when you’re researching recipes, flavors, ingredients, and techniques.
What makes someone fabulous: Confidence & Humility. Learning how to develop and balance those dichotomous aspects of your personality is truly fabulous!