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Chatting with everyone's favorite SoBe Bartender | Nathan Paul Smith
by Herb Sosa

Opening Nathan's Video Bar has been
a dream of mine for over 26 years.  
I started my career 26 yrs ago at
Bedrock's on Sunset Beach in St. Pete
and felt like being in a gay bar I was
home,  I want to bring that same feeling
to people when they come to Nathan's
Video Bar.  We want to give everyone
a safe place to escape, a place where
they know we will not accept racism,
homophobia or any form of hatred
towards others....ok time to answer
some questions.

What is the Best and Worst thing to come out of this
pandemic.  
The worst thing to come out of this pandemic is the virus

itself and what it can do to someone we love or ourselves.
And also the shut down & restrictions, which just keeps
getting extended because of selfish behaviors.  We need
to wear our mask and protect one another, and social
distance when possible.   We can become a better
society if we just learn to take better care of each other
& ourselves.  If you really pay attention to everything that
is happening in 2020, we are being told that we were
doing it wrong, and we are all one and need to treat
each other with respect, love, and help when we can.

Now the best thing I feel to come out of this pandemic

is time we all have had to reconnect with family and
friends.  We all actually had time to slow down and be
by ourselves to think about what it is we want out of life,
what is really important to us, who we are as a person,
and who we want to be in the future.

Remember in the darkest of times there is always light shining though, you just have to search for it and grab onto it.  Light will always
win if you focus on it and allow the positivity to become your focus.  Not that we are out of the darkest yet, but we can never give it too much
control.


Back in
'97 I feel in love with South Beach.  Moved here in the winter of
'
98 and will never leave.  It is sub tropical paradise that has absolutely
everything
and more.  
But in general I would have to say that SoFl and SoBe are such a melting
pot of people and cultures, which captured my heart.

Being on South Beach can give you an experience of traveling the world and never getting on a plane.  One moment you can be having a
conversation with someone from Brazil and then you're running into a friend from the UK, next a old high school class mate is calling you
to let you know that they are coming on the weekend from Kentucky to celebrate their bachlorette party.
South Florida is a magical place of acceptance and good times, exactly what I want Nathan's Video Bar to be.

Who am I named after... Well I am actually not named after anyone in particular but my name does have a cute story.   
I am from a Catholic up bringing.  My Mom wanted to name me Ryan, but my Grandparents wanted me to be named after a biblical name
like Nathaniel.  So they agreed to meet each other in the middle and call me Nathan.  My Dad stayed out of it, he is an extremely calm and
patient.  

My favorite Memory of my home town St.Petersburg, Fl.  Hands down would be times as a child I spent in my Mama Jean and Papa
Bill's pool.  The whole family would get together at their house and the cousins would always go into the pool and play.  My Uncle Frank
would always act like he had caught a frog in the pool and we would fall for it every time and look in his hands to see the frog, only to get
sprayed with water. Those were Good Times!!!

How much of you is Madonna, Vs James Dean, and why? Herb what a great question, two of my idols. Madonna being #1.  How much of
me is Madonna and How much of me is James Dean.  Both have the rebel quality that I have.  Always been a rebel by being who I am
without zero regrets in being that way at a very young age, that rebel really took shape around when I was 16 years old.  I would have to
give the biggest percentage to Madonna, she literally molded me.  She was the first person to show me that I was not to be ashamed of
myself because of who I am, who I loved, or what I want to be.  She taught me not to be controlled by my religion or society, to be true to
myself.  That is why to this day she is my number one.  The rest of the percentage which would be about 23% goes to James Dean, for
wishing to have his good looks and sex appeal. "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." James Dean

You have been the GO TO bartender in South Beach, forever. Your smile, courteousness and good looks have a lot to do with it, but
beyond all that, why do you think people like you so much?

Thank you for referring to me as the Go To bartender in South Beach.  Why do I feel people like me so much...now this is a secret to my
success I feel.  I believe when you come to my bar, I always give direct eye contact.  I feel everyone is equal and if you look someone in
the eye they can see your soul and true intentions.  I can not tell you what anyone customers do for a living, but I can tell you if they have
good energy and what they drink.  I feel when people are out having a good time, they just want to escape and feel noticed, appreciated,
and protected while escaping, if you can create that for them, they will come back again and again.


Be True to them and they will be True to you.  You want to be a successful bartender you need to really care about people, and people can
tell...you can not fake or create that you care for people, you either do or you don't.

.
What does family mean to me. Family is important period.  They make us who we are. Here I will give you a prime example.
My Dad's Grand Parents own bars in Panama and one in Hialeah, Florida. The one in Hialeah lasted 40 years.  And my Mom's Grand
Parents owned a bar & grille in Catawissa, Pennsylvania.


So there is something to bloodlines and the paths our families lived before us.  You need to love, respect, and understand your family.  
Your families history can help you understand your path.  I found out in my late 20's about my great grand parents owning restaurants and
bars and it allowed me to know I was on the right path.  The apple never falls far from the tree they say!!! So remember you only get one
family, so love, cherish them, and let them know you do.

My favorite food to eat & cook.  Well anything type of comfort food hands down.  I love to bake a good banana and chocolate bread.  And
also good pot of Chicken Noodle Soup that Richard Trainor taught me to make, it was the one soup that Rich always made for me the
moment I was not feeling good. Anytime I would be ill, he would show up with homemade Chicken Soup, some type of cookies or
sweets, crackers and whatever else he felt would make you feel better.  He would just leave at the door with a phone call and a "I Love
You".  So when I make it I think of him and those times, so this is why for sure it is my favorite thing to make.

Something most People don't Know what about me?  This is another hard question.  I try my best to be an open book.  I think it is better
for us all to show our true colors at all times and never pretend.  So with that said some will know this but it is a bit of a quirky thing.  I am
obsessed with Pokemon Go, there I said it and I feel better for saying it.  "lol"  Been playing it religiously sine 7/10/16, but do not ask me
the characters names, I only know them by little mouse, big fish, Dragon thing, and so on.  But I find the game as a good distraction. And
during this time it has been a great way to communicate with people on the group chats, set up raids, and just feel connected to the
outside world.

Three things I never leave

home without are My Mask,
My Belt Loop attached
Purell hand sanitizer, and
Phone. The New World
we all now live in due to
COVID. Before March 15th
(the last night I worked)
it would of been, My Phone,
My Wallet, and My Keys.

How do I balance a love life and working in
nightlife.  Well first what is a love life...lol  
Well there is some bad parts of working in

nightlife. People presume you get hit on all the
time, which is untrue for me.  And I guess if I did
not treat my work as a job that could be the case.  
But honestly when I am at work, I am working.  
I am not there to hook up, and I think people can
feel that.  When I am behind the bar I am there
to make drinks and make sure others are having
a good time & if I am not behind the bar I am
home re-calibrating. So there is no time for me
to really have a love life or maybe I am just lacking the sexuality that James Dean possessed.  

What inspired me to take this leap to open Nathan's Video Bar would have to be the pandemic.
 I knew that last night behind the bar at
Twist on March 15th the night before the lock down that nothing would be the same.  So I knew I had to start figuring out what I was going
to do to survive.  First I tried to refinance my house by contacting my mortgage broker and friend Oscar Sanchez. He kept asking when
Twist was going to reopen, I felt because we did not know it was holding up the refinancing.   


I told Oscar I would get another job, and he shocked I would leave Twist and came up with the idea of approaching Waterloo with a take
over. Derek Gonzalez agreed to the idea and Nathan's Video Bar was born.


Doing this now during a pandemic allows you the ability to restructure the space to make COVID ready and safe, the timing was perfect.  
Everyone right now wants a place to let go, but are afraid of putting their health at risk.  And we going to make sure that Nathan's Video
Bar can provide them the safe place to let go and know that they can be there and their health safety is also a priority.


We accomplishing this by installed 3 UV Light Filtration systems in the AC's, they are the APCO-X systems that clean the circulated air by
combining UV-C light and EverCarbon cells to safely reduce the biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria, and viruses. Also fights
chemical contaminants such as cooking smells and other odors.


We will also be disinfecting surfaces non stop, there are hand sanitizing stations, there are safety distance stickers on the floors, the staff
will have mask and face shields on, Temperature checks of staff and guest and we will have mask for anyone that needs one, no one will
be allowed to come in without a mask, so Karen's stay Home Please.

What should everyone exp
ect at Nathan's Video bar, a Pop Culture Explosion.  We have multiple TV Screens, 5 seating areas, 1 VIP
seating area, an inviting outdoor space, tasty bites, great drinks, amazing music, exclusive remixed music videos, and entertainment.  
Each of the seating areas are designed to represent the living room of one of your favorite TV Shows of the past and present. We have all
types of memorabilia autographed though the space. We will have Drag Brunches hostessed by Pussila and a Evening with Tiffany
Fantasia. There will be a Movie Night and a night where you can view a favorite Concert. There will always be a good time to be had at
Nathan's Video Bar.


I hope locals and visitors will find Nathan's Video Bar to be a place they can
go and not be judged.  Judgment will not be tolerated at Nathan's Video Bar.  
Let me say this now and in writing, please do not come to Nathan's Video

Bar if you feel you are better than anyone else.  If we feel people are putting
others down while at Nathan's you will be asked to leave immediately.


We want everyone to feel they are coming home. That is the purpose of the seating areas be designed after the living room of your favorite
TV show.


- We want you to be able to forget all your problems while you are there and have a great time.  
- We want you to feel that your heath & safety matter to us.
- And if we do that you will leave with the feeling of wanting more and come back again.

15.Is there an expected opening date?  Yes we are excepting to open in Early September.  I can not give an exact date because we have
to finish getting the outside space approved and constructed. The outside space is important to me because it maybe all we can offer
under the restrictions, so it has to be fabulous. But the team will working on getting this completed asap. I will be sure to let everyone
know the opening date when we have one.  But it will be a soft opening, I feel the times call for that.  
We would love to have a huge Grand Opening, but again we want everyone safe and it is not the time yet for large gatherings.  It will be in
everyone's best interest if we open softly, and than on the one year anniversary when things have gotten under control have a huge party
and everyone get together.

Has Social Media and Dating Apps affected nightlife. Well everything has an effect.  But I feel that you can use the social media and
Dating Apps to create business.  We have made so many social media moments at Nathan's Video Bar to help integrate social media
into the business. With all the selfie moments and items, people will want to take pictures and post on Social Media allowing more
people to be introduced to Nathan's and give us more advertising.


And the dating apps if your feel that everyone is using them, advertise your place on the app. Build Business.  But not everyone uses

Grinder and Dating apps, Myself being one of them.  I feel the dating app people can hide behind and you never know who is really on the
other end.  So Not For Me, and there is a lot of others that I know that feel the same way and do not use the Dating Apps. So I do not feel
they are that big of a threat.

Final Question...If I could influence or inspire one thing in our community.
 Easy to answer.  I would want to influence everyone to always
encourage themselves and others to remember we are all connected and one, to take care of each other.  Because their pain is our pain
as well and their joys are ours to experience as well.
Be able to look in each others eyes & know we are all the same and know no matter what their skin color is, where they were born, who
they love, who they share their bed with, who they voted for, what car they drive, what clothes they wear, and how they choice to live they
hurt and bleed just like you & me.



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