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When Chareese Kent began working at Babalu in 2014, her goal wasn’t initially to become a bartender.

“I really wanted to become a server because Babalu is just such a popular place,” she says. “I love the atmosphere, I loved all the good vibes, and I wanted to get out of the arena of just standing at the door. I wanted to be in the mix of our social environment at the restaurant.”

Kent started off as hostess but asked her then-manager, Nathan Delaware, who is now the general manager at Table 100, what it would take to become a server. He told her that if he showed her that she could be the best hostess she could be, he would talk to her about becoming a server. Three months later, Kent started serving and four months after that, she started bartending.

She says a whiskey smash is one of her favorite drinks to make. “I love whiskey because everyone is scared of whiskey,” she says. “If you can make whiskey taste good … I feel like I’ve got them sold.”—Amber Helsel

Address: Babalu Tapas & Tacos, 622 Duling Ave., Suite 106, Jackson, MS 39216

Phone number: 601-366-5757

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