Friends With Benefits: Alli Gustafson
Instead of growing up around rice fields, Alli Gustafson grew up around cornfields. “When I was 3 years old I left South Korea because I was adopted and moved to Iowa,” she said. “I was really lucky to be raised by a great family.”
As Gustafson reached adulthood she got the itch to move from her rural surroundings to a more urban setting, so she moved to Kansas City. It was there that she first began her bartending career. After sharpening her skills, she moved again, this time to Miami, where she helped open several bars and restaurants as both a manager and lead bartender. Then, in 2014, a friend talked her into moving to Las Vegas, where she was immediately hired by one of the hottest nightclubs, Drai’s at The Cromwell.
Not only is Gustafson continuing a successful career, she’s enjoying one of the best parts about bartending at Drai’s: getting to be around the phenomenal concerts and guest hosts. “There’s been so many good nights so far,” she said. “Future, T.I., Migos, LeBron James, Dave Chappelle. … I honestly think that stage, the live acts up there, you really can’t beat it. People love to come see their favorite artists—it’s not just about having a DJ, it’s about having the artists that connect with guests.”
When asked to reflect on where her career is today, she said, “It’s awesome. It’s fun, man. I’ve gotten to be really good at bartending, I’ve been doing it long enough! It’s become a real career for me. I love it.”
Let Gustafson mix you one of the nightclub’s most-popular cocktails, the Drai’s Lemonade, made with Belvedere Peach Nectar vodka, peach purée, housemade sour and fresh raspberries. Have that drink in hand and get ready for some awesome performances up on Drai’s stage this week, including Fabolous (Oct. 28), Wiz Khalifa (Oct. 30) and Fat Joe (Nov. 2).