Friends With Benefits: Clenique Williams-Nilsson
For Clenique Williams-Nilsson, it’s all about creating a dynamic environment and connecting with her guests. As the operations manager for Greene St. Kitchen—and the creative director for its Saturday brunch, Brunch’n—it’s also about hard work and hospitality.
“We make sure that when you’re in Vegas, if you chose to come and spend your time with us, then you’re going to have the experience of a lifetime,” Williams-Nilsson says. “We make sure that the food is phenomenal; the chefs back there are making magic.”
Growing up in Texas, Southern hospitality was instilled in Williams-Nilsson from a young age; she also worked in her grandma’s barbecue joint—and learned the meaning of hard work. She studied kinesiology and Eastern medicine at Texas A&M University, which in turn taught her how to connect and help people on a deeper level. She then took her creative talents to L.A., where she got into TV and film. That’s where she made the Clique Hospitality (owners of Greene St.) connection. She made the move to Vegas a few years ago and eventually was hired by Clique to help open the restaurant.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to shine, to show my creative side,” Williams-Nilsson says. And Brunch’n is where she really sparkles. “It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s lots of drinks, food, it’s Jell-O shots, it’s models. I’m super into glitter and sparkles, so the Brunch’n party is my playground. During the day, it’s different energy. I love interaction with people, getting the feedback about the vibe. Hospitality is our forte and me being from Texas—it’s all about the hospitality.”
Greene St. Kitchen wanted the cocktails to be as big and loud as the graffiti is that fills the walls of the restaurant. And all the names for the specialty cocktails are graffiti slang—The Rook is like a trusted member of the crew, a guy you can rely on. The Rook is also one of those cocktails that will turn heads because of its presentation. While it might look exactly like flowers in a pot, it’s in fact quite tasty! A mix of simple syrup (with fresh herbs like basil, mint, dill and thyme) and fresh lime juice and Bombay Sapphire gin, it’s like a gin-sour-meets-mojito, with a fresh, herbaceous, light and bright taste.