The O.G. bartender of LAX
During JoJo Kortan’s tenure as a bartender at LAX at Luxor, she’s seen a huge mix of performances by musical guests—Counting Crows, Black Eyed Peas, New Kids on the Block—but if you ask which one was her favorite, the answer might surprise you.
“Vanilla Ice!” Kortan exclaimed. “When he performed, he got the crowd hyped. His (was) probably the best performance in here and we’ve had quite a few different acts—so many concerts, celebrities.”
In fact, it’s been 10 years worth of celebrities that she has seen pass through the doors of the club. “I’m the OG bartender at LAX,” she said, laughing. Indeed, she is. A few months after LAX opened its doors in 2007, the Bakersfield, Calif., native brought her previous 10 years of bartending experience with her to the newly opened nightclub. “LAX is my home—a lot of people associate me and this place,” she said. “(LAX) is the little engine that could. We keep trucking along.”
Kortan’s bartending philosophy is simple yet refreshing to hear: “To be a good bartender, you have to have patience,” she said. But after two decades, when the music is blaring and hundreds of people are crowding every inch, how does she handle it all?
“Simple: I treat people how I would want to be treated,” she said. “And since I’ve been in this business for so long, I think that’s how it should be.”
While LAX doesn’t offer a specialty or signature cocktail menu, order up Kortan’s own creation, Party Fuel. “One night someone came up and asked for something sweet,” Kortan said. “So, I played around a little bit and I created the Party Fuel. And it was good!” Kortan’s special cocktail mixes together Cîroc pineapple vodka, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and orange juice. “Just ask for it,” she said, and you won’t be disappointed.