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The Clever Eggplant is an informal bar at StartX, which is Stanford's startup incubator. The bar is hosted by StartX-affiliate Weeby.co and staffed by a bartender, David, Weeby's office manager, Rachel. By pulling a pair of tall tables and a few stools over next to a sink, the bar appears every two weeks to create a fun, relaxed, and playful atmosphere for its patrons. Regardless of if they want to relax with a sparkling fruity drink, or savor a stiff spirit-forward cocktail, or simply refresh themselves with a non-alcoholic libation before a long drive home, we can accommodate the diverse interests of our patrons.

In May 2014, David, a newly employed software developer, got pulled into one of Weeby's weekly game nights at StartX. There, he met Rachel, who pointed out the large quantities of hard liquor that they had on hand. David had been wanting to learn to mix drinks, and so they struck a mutually beneficial arrangement. Together, they started an informal bar every other game night, serving cocktails free of charge. Rachel procured the ingredients for the bar and printed out each night's menu. David selected each night's drinks and served them to generous and enthusiastic patrons. On the night of August 14, 2014, the unrefined but scrappy bar opened for the first time.

The first few sessions at the bar were challenging. Unseasoned, David would forget all sorts of equipment each week: his measurement jigger, or his mixing tins, or (most disastrously) his citrus juicer. His inexperience meant that even when fully equipped, he would often be hard pressed to serve the deluge of eager patrons who would swarm the bar. But session after session, the drinks came out a little faster, developed more sophistication, and the bar developed an enjoyable atmosphere that made it the place to be.

Though it still has a long way to go, The Clever Eggplant has significantly matured since its opening night. It has offered everything from solid classic cocktails to idiosyncratic original drinks to fantastical layered shooters like the Alien Brain Hemorrhage, and once even pearl milk tea cocktails. If you've been a patron of the bar, then we'd like to thank you for showing up and making the bar the success that it is. If you've never come by, then please drop by the next time we're open, take a seat, check out our menu, order a cocktail, and stay a moment at our wonderful bar.

Staff

David is a software engineer at LinkedIn. He's also a former (retired?) bartender at Bushido Izakaya. He drinks sparingly while bartending, as he ironically has embarrassingly unimpressive alcohol tolerance. Besides mixing drinks for the bar, David also chooses the drinks, worked on the modern menu layout, and built and manages the website. Outside of building software for work and recreationally bartending, he powerlifts recreationally, built and maintains this website, and enjoys reading books at coffee shops during weekends.

david@theclevereggplant.com | Personal site

Rachel is the office manager for Weeby.co, a software startup that builds a game engine and games for their platform. Besides keeping her colleagues alive at the office, she puts together Weeby's game nights at StartX's facility, even when The Clever Eggplant is not in session. Every week she pulls together game nights with dozens of attendees and arranges enough food to feed all of them. Bar weeks present further challenges: she prints the night's menu and stocks the bar with citrus and sodas and herbs and liquors and frequent one-off ingredients. Rachel may not be the face of the bar, but she is its invaluable backbone, and without her there would be no game nights at all. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys running outdoors and dancing at clubs.

rachel@theclevereggplant.com

Contributors

Stephanie is the visual designer for Jelli, Inc., a startup that produces a cloud-based ad platform for radio. When David wanted to build new logos and redesign the menu, he turned to his high school friend for her professional expertise. Stephanie put in many hours to build numerous revisions of The Clever Eggplant's logo, art assets, typography, and layout. Everything that makes the menu and website beautiful is a piece of her work.

stephanie@theclevereggplant.com

崔彤 "Ivy" is a master's student in Computer Science at Duke. She concluded her summer internship at LinkedIn as an Android developer. Her interest in bartending brought David to her, and she learned from him over the summer. Ivy is a particularly good cook and now a nascent bartender as well.

Software developer; musician; translator; dancer; Frisbee player; Adela is the quintessential modern-day Renaissance woman. Discontent with the idea of being a corporate tool confined to programming like David, whom she met in college, Adela opts instead to do a variety of freelance work. She wanted a good venue to showcase her musical skills, and The Clever Eggplant was eager to take on a musician. Every night with Adela present, lights dimmed and piano music pouring forth, is an exceptionally classy night at the bar.

adela@theclevereggplant.com | Personal site

Zheena works as an event coordinator. But once upon a time, she was a bartender at San Francisco's popular Infusion Lounge. She has left that life behind her, but the art, the science, and the rush of mixing doesn't leave any bartender. When her friend Rachel told her about this quirky eggplant pseudo-bar in the south bay, Zheena came down to take a look, to use skills and manifest passions long dormant. She joins David as a guest bartender for duo nights.

Jason is a prognostics intern at NASA, measuring the performance of their aviation equipment. Hailing from Trinidad, he explored the Bay Area and ended up meeting David in a coffee shop. The two of them agreed to overcome their lack of Android experience and are building a mobile app for The Clever Eggplant. Jason is an avid photographer and astronomer. He combined these to build a star identification algorithm in his free time. David has also never seen a human consume so much vodka so easily in one sitting.

jason@theclevereggplant.com

Why are we The Clever Eggplant?

The bar was nameless for its first six months of operation. Our name reflects our origins as a supporting fixture of StartX's board game nights. One night, a few of us were playing Apples to Apples. David played the green card "Clever", prompting the other players to choose cards that they thought were evocative of cleverness. One of his friends had no good answers and played "Eggplant" in response to get rid of an otherwise useless card. The ludicrous combination of those cards amused David so much that he made it the name of the bar.

Does David work for StartX?

No, and neither does Rachel, for that matter. Rachel's company, Weeby, graduated from StartX's startup incubation program, which is how she is affiliated with them. Likewise, David has a friend whose company also graduated from StartX, which is how David was introduced to game nights. Neither David nor his company have any affiliation with StartX. He simply mixes there on their good graces.

How did David start bartending?

His mixing began when he received a mixology book for his birthday. He likes to say that reading the book and watching Youtube videos accounts for 10% of his skill and knowledge, while the other 90% comes from patrons at the bar bombarding him with drink requests until he could handle them all.

Thank you for your generosity and patronage!

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