Beverage & Entertainment Director
A long-standing trendsetter in the beverage world, Nick Perdue brings style, assiduous work ethic and 13 years of cross-platform experience to his role of Beverage and Entertainment Director at Art Ovation Hotel. Throughout the course of his career, Perdue has proven to be a visionary in his work, curating inspired menus, mentoring staff, and managing creative restaurant spaces to evolve into sought-after destinations and experiences for foodies and cocktail connoisseurs alike.
Rewind to 2010, Perdue began his journey working long weekends in Miami Beach mega-clubs and putting in hours helping to run Miami’s favorite rock n’ roll dive Kill Your Idol. No stranger to grit and determination, Perdue kept up with a rigorous seven day a week schedule for four years, clocking ten to twelve hour shifts to hone his craft. Through this experience, Perdue learned the value of volume service while developing an ability for intense speed without overlooking detail. Something he shared with junior bartenders on the rise.
As his passion for spirits and the business grew, Perdue’s signature bartending style evolved as well. At this point in cocktail history, menus in the scene looked like crossword puzzles of 10+ ingredient cocktails and backbars seemed more like library walls, but Perdue lived by the words, “Make your product a legend, not a shopping list.” He simplified excellent drinks and told stories as he mixed, allowing for guests to learn, sip, enjoy, laugh, and never want to leave their seats. A simpler product with a bigger story.
Perdue took this format West to Oregon in 2015 where he began writing menus and climbing the ladder of a major outfit specializing in farm-to-table hospitality. Here, Perdue was able to dive into the creativity behind food and beverage production and learn the value of sourcing locally among other things. He spent ample time with world renowned Chefs in the back of house, on farms learning to harvest materials, and tending his personal herb garden for service at home. With a few seasons of success, Perdue was on his way to creating in a more sophisticated way and sharing this with his growing staff.
No detail went unnoticed as he stepped into bar management. Perdue taught his staff to taste, tell a story with signatures and how to care for their product as if it were their own reputation. He never succumbed to the “10 ingredients trap” as his goal was to concoct drinks that were approachable and “crave-able.” - Yet appropriately complex and more straight forward. After nearly a year, Perdue was offered a general manager position in where he developed his skills in business, leadership, and work ethic. Over the course of two years, he managed two successful venues and became director of operations for his mentor’s company before the onset of the 2020 pandemic changed the scene.
Seeking a new opportunity and a freer business climate, Perdue drove back to his home state of Florida, taking up residency in the city of Sarasota. Discovering that The Art Ovation Hotel was hiring, Perdue jumped at the opportunity. A memory from an earlier vacation was prominent in his mind – he’d once pointed to the hotel while cycling downtown and said, “If I ever move back home, I’d want to run that one…”
Since then, he has grown into his current position as Beverage and Entertainment Director for the brand, developing growth and service plans for Perspective rooftop pool bar, The Gallery Bar, and the city’s best music/entertainment program. In the years Perdue has been at the helm, Art Ovation has won multiple cocktail and cultural awards, including “Favorite Hotel” by SarasotaOUT, “Best Rooftop Bar Program” and “Highest Rated Cocktails” in multiple industry contests in the bay area. With the opening of Tzeva, Perdue has created a Mediterranean-forward cocktail list, featuring whole ingredients like Kaffir lime leaves, Zatar, Metaxa and more. With it, he includes wine varietals like Xinomavro and Campania to name a few. With each sip, guests can taste the passion and dedication he brings to the table..
Above all, Perdue brings a widely respected leadership style, one that his staff can appreciate – leading by example, weaving into the hotel business, and emanating positivity through his work.
Like the other outlets he controls, Perdue has the bar set high for Tzeva and is excited to see the culture of the restaurant thrive.