Jonna Threlkeld, 28, first came to Eugene from Red Bluff, California, to play sax in the UO marching band. She has since ditched green and yellow for black, keeping bar at the Starlight Lounge for the past three and a half years. Threlkeld is honored to win “Sexiest Bartender,” especially because she has a “crush” on all the “beautiful and talented” women who bartend downtown. In addition to voters deeming her “freaky sexy, quirky and original,” she’s active in Eugene’s music scene, playing guitar and singing for the “new-timey, old-timey” band Butterchuck — a quality patrons appreciate or, as one voter put it, “She’s also a talented musician and her booty don’t quit.”
What’s your favorite part about tending bar?
I love this job. The crew here is really great, so I come to work to throw a party with some of my best friends. It’s always interesting, too. You meet people of all walks of life and get to chat with them. That’s your job — to talk to people and get to know them and then make them a drink that may enhance their day a bit.
What’s your least favorite part?
That’s a hard question. Here, we have to clean the toilets — sometimes people will throw up, but it’s all part of it. I’m really happy doing what I do. I think you just take the bad with the good because it’s all part of the experience.
Do you have a signature drink?
I like to drink a Moscow mule. They’re great because you can get them with vodka, or they taste great with gin or tequila. One that I’m really enjoying making for people right now is a “Wait for the Drop,” which is a pomegranate lemon drop with house grenadine.
A lot of people commented on your smile and charm. Would you agree that those are some of your best qualities?
Being back here behind the bar, I get to be exactly who I am. I love smiling, so I would hope that is something that people like, because I do it a lot.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened while you were bartending?
I’ve had a guy who had a boot on my bar. He had taken his boot off; he wanted to show a friend of his a snakebite on his ankle and had taken his dirty boot off and just decided to set it on my coppertop bar. It ended up not being a problem, but I just thought that was very strange bar etiquette.