Leah Hebert is an accidental bartender – accidental in the way she just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and now she has embraced the job with gusto.
“I was taking a to-go order, and my manager left me a note that said, ‘Do you want to train in the bar?’” Hebert said. “I was like, ‘Who’s crazy idea was that?’ I was actually really nervous at first, but I ended up loving it.”
Hebert became a bartender at The Boathouse Landing in Valparaiso just over one year ago, and she said she is used to seemingly accidental happenings turning out for the best in her life.
“I’ve been living in Niceville since 1999,” she said. “We were living just south of New Orleans, and my parents tricked us and said, ‘Kids, we’re going on vacation,’ and we’ve lived here ever since!”
Hebert said The Boathouse landing is now like a second home to her, and besides her customers, her favorite part of the job is the view.
“It never gets old,” she said. “We get to see a lot of dolphins here in the bayou, they like to hang out right here in our little pocket, so we get to see little baby dolphins, and I get excited every time.”
When it comes to her signature sip, Hebert chose a drink that is perfect for sipping along Boggy Bayou – The Terror of the Deep.
“It came from the bayou,” explained Chad Townsend, assistant general manager of the restaurant. “We don’t have the clearest water; it’s kind of murky, so we invoke the mysteries of the bayou. Most people in this area do love the emerald waters of the Gulf, but we are on the Boggy Bayou – we are in Niceville.”
The signature drink may look ugly, but it’s sweet taste is what has kept it popular over the years. The Terror of the Deep has spiced rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sour mix, Sprite and grenadine. The ingredients give it a murky green color with brownish-tan at the bottom, which does look eerily similar to the surrounding bayou.
The Boathouse Landing is at 124 North John Sims Parkway in Valparaiso. For more information, visit https://www.boathouselanding.com/ or call 850-678-2805.