Matt Borbely of the Boathouse Oyster Bar in Destin loves people, but he is secretly an introvert.
Although he loves bartending and has been slinging drinks on and off for 25 years, he also likes to get away from it all.
“I think it’s a great job to meet new people. I like being right in the middle of all the craziness,” he said of bartending. “But I like to disappear for a couple days at a time — I’m weird like that.”
Borbely, who also answers to "Borbs," said his favorite way to disappear is to go bike packing — camping with his mountain bike.
“I ride mountain bikes. I trail ride and I travel to ride mountains in Georgia,” he said. “I go three days at a time basically camping off my bike.”
Borbely said his bartending style is honest and direct; he doesn’t sugar-coat anything.
“A lot of bartenders don’t act themselves, but with me, what you see is what you get,” he said.
When asked what his spirit of choice is, Borbely revealed he is a dry bartender, a rarity in his career.
“I just quit drinking because it was bad for me,” he said. “I haven’t had a drink in eight years.”
As for his signature sip, Borbely chose the most popular drink of the Destin establishment, the Vegas Bomb.
“Vegas Bombs and Tito's, that’s the most popular,” he said. “I guess because it’s potent and tasty.”
The Boathouse Oyster Bar is a longstanding Destin bar housed in — you guessed it — an old boathouse on the Destin Harbor. Borbely described it this way, “It’s a small hole-in-the-wall bar on the harbor that packs a punch.”
The Boathouse Oyster Bar is at 288 Harbor Blvd., Destin. For more information, visit http://www.boathouseoysterbardestin.com/ or call 850-837-3645.