Caitlin Thibodeaux has been a bartender at Mahony’s Irish Pub on West Chimes Street since the bar opened its Baton Rouge location in July 2015. Thibodeaux, a Baton Rouge native, said her bar draws people from all walks of life with its drink specials, friendly atmosphere and convenient location.
DIG: Being from Baton Rouge, what are some of your favorite things about the city?
CT: Everyone’s so friendly here, and you’ve got that southern hospitality thing. You can make a new friend everywhere you go.
DIG: Why did you become a bartender? What drove you to Mahony’s?
CT: I’ve been in the service industry for about eight years, since I was 16, and I’ve been a bartender for six years. I’ve always enjoyed bartending over any other position I’ve had in the restaurant industry. It’s just more fun; you get to make cocktails and meet new people everyday. It’s definitely never boring. I’ve known the owner here for a long time, so whenever they were opening Mahony’s, I decided to come join them.
DIG: In your experience, what’s different about bartending from other positions in the industry?
CT: I feel like you get to know your customers better. If you’re serving food, you can only really go to tables so many times without kind of intruding on their space, but at a bar you can talk to your customers the entire time.
DIG: What’s different about working at Mahony’s than some of the other bars you’ve worked at?
CT: The atmosphere here is really laid-back. You can just come have a good time, whereas other bars I worked at were more restaurant-style. Mahony’s is just a fun bar, basically, which is why our motto is “Who has more fun than us?”
DIG: In your own words, describe the atmosphere here. What kind of customers do you guys serve?
CT: It’s definitely a big mix of customers. You’d expect it to be a college bar, and a lot of students do come here, but we get professors and older people. It draws a lot of people that live around here, as well. My mom even comes in here sometimes! Anyone is welcome here.
DIG: Mahony’s is so close to LSU, but it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think about bars at LSU. Do you think Mahony’s is part of LSU culture?
CT: I think it is, especially during tailgating season. It’s not a far walk from where people are tailgating. And people come in after classes and walking home just to grab a beer.
DIG: Is football season your busiest time of the year? What’s it like being a bartender during the games?
CT: We stay packed all day during game days. It’s a little hectic because you know it’s gonna be a long day, but we try to make the best of it and just have a good time.
DIG: You’ve been here since the bar opened in 2015. How has it been to watch it take off and be successful?
CT: We’ve definitely [had] a big growth here. Once football season hit and we started doing our specials, we’ve noticed a big change. I see new faces everyday, but we’ve also built a solid group of regular customers.
DIG: When you think about the bar scene in Baton Rouge, what comes to mind? Do you think Mahony’s fits that idea?
CT: When I think about hanging out with friends in Baton Rouge, I think about going out to the bars, going to get drinks, stuff like that. So it’s definitely like how it is here because we have games and TVs so there’s always things to do. You can always come here, and with such a long bar like we have you can sit next to someone you’ve never met before and end up becoming good friends by the end of the night.
Editor’s Note: The print version of this story misspelled Thibodeaux on second reference.
Photo by Greta Jines.