List List 2016: Neil: Bartender, King of Pops Bar & Good Grub
Job: Bartender, King of Pops Bar & Good Grub; and partner, King of Pops Charlotte
Relationship Status: Single
You might have spotted this bespeckled blondie biking around the city, slinging popsicles, or serving up cocktails at Ponce City Market's new King of Pops Bar & Good Grub outpost. Either way, Neil is definitely a dude about town. When he's not working for the iconic sweet-treat brand or globe-trotting (the travel buff has a trip to Mongolia slated for this year), he can usually be found in the kitchen, which is incidentally where he likes to take most of his dates. "It's kind of like a test," Neil says, adding that he's a pretty good teacher if your skills aren't up to par. Oh, and did we mention he's got a hot tub? — Caroline Cox
A LONG, STRANGE TRIP
I was in Colombia traveling with my sister up and down the Caribbean coast for like a month. We went to Cabo de la Vela, where you have to take a bus to this town and get in these 4-by-4 trucks with goats in them, then drive three hours to the desert. It's this beautiful desert beach town on the tip of Colombia and Venezuela. We stayed in hammocks and shacks on the beach. It was so hot that you couldn't go in the sun in the middle of the day. That night we went to the one restaurant in town. I had octopus and my sister had some kind of fish.
You have to wake up at like 3 a.m. to get on the truck to get back because it takes other people to work. My sister said she didn't feel very good, but we were catching a sailboat the next day so we couldn't really push anything back. She starts throwing up off the back of the truck while people are like, getting on with their goats, and there's like 20 of us. We get to town and she starts feeling better, but then I started not to feel good, either. We had to catch an eight-hour bus, so we get on, sit in the back and just rotate between the bathroom. We still look back at that as the highlight of the trip — it was really pretty and remote, with just some light food poisoning at the end of it.
What do you like best about your job?
The fun we have, the fun people we work with, and how we don't take ourselves too seriously.
What's your preferred cocktail?
Anything that's pretty tart and sour. Orpheus Brewery's Atalanta beer is actually based off one of our pops.
What band were you obsessed with when you were 14?
I guess Dave Matthews Band. I wore a lot of tie-dye and flip-flops.
Who was your first crush?
I feel like it was Topanga from "Boy Meets World."
What comic book character would you most like to be?
The Flash, because it's like a slightly attainable superhero versus one with weird superpowers. He's a little more realistic.
What would be your last meal if you were on death row?
Biscuits and gravy. I've definitely thought about that before.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Top 40 pop music, but it's not a guilty pleasure, just a regular pleasure.
What movie is your life most like?
I grew up in a small town, so let's say Footloose.
Do you have a favorite quote or a mantra?
"The only difference between doing something and not doing something is doing it."
On which reality TV show would you most like to be a cast member?
I don't watch a lot of reality TV, but probably "The Amazing Race." I have a twin sister and we've definitely thought about our process of how we're gonna get on it, because we have that "twin edge," and what our roles are gonna be once we're on the show. We're both pretty intense travelers, so I think we would rock it.
What's your favorite curse word?
People would say I say "damn" a lot, but like "d-a-y-u-m," which is more of like, a sign of appreciation.
Name the craziest place you've done the deed.
Traveling when there's other people in the room, in a hostel. It happens a lot more than you'd think it does.
What's your best move on the dance floor?
Oh god. I actually just went to Johnny's Hideaway for the first time in like five years. I do the step and slide, the classic white-boy wedding moves. I did take a twerk class once at Mammal Gallery for a friend's birthday. She had a '90s twerk night. It's really hard if you don't have anything to work with.
What happens when you die?
You disintegrate and decay.
What's your favorite candy?
Mike & Ike's
Describe your best date.
Probably just cooking together because that can be one of my turn ons or turn offs. It's kind of like a test. If you're adept in the kitchen and know what you're doing, or willing to learn, I'm a pretty good teacher.
Who would play you in a movie?
A young Christopher Plummer. That's The Sound of Music guy, right?
What's your porn name?
Dilly would be my first pet, so that's pretty good. And I grew up on Terrell Ridge. So Dilly Ridge.
What's the best album to make out to?
Leon Bridges' latest album, Coming Home.
Name a celeb you could take in a fight.
I've never been in a fight in my entire life, but I'd fight Joffrey from "Game of Thrones."
Read us the last interesting text message you sent.
I texted a group of people and said, "hot tub in the snow will be happening later," because I have a hot tub. That's kind of interesting, kind of sexy.
Who's your role model for sexiness or coolness?
What's the lamest pickup line someone tried to use on you?
I was working Atlanta Pride one year and had some water guns out, just having fun. This guy was so drunk he couldn't form words. I was trying to help him with water or a popsicle or something. He was like "Can I kiss you?" and I was like "No sorry, I'm working right now." He was like "Alright," and then he just like reached out and grabbed me in the crotch and I was like "Ohhhhkay, now I'm gonna have to ask you to leave." So I guess a crotch-grab was the worst pickup line I've gotten.
With whom would you most like to play spin the bottle?
Can I just name a group of people? The staff at Spiller Park Coffee in Ponce City Market. They're all super-babes.
Name three foods that are part of your regular diet.
King of Pops popsicles — that's a shameless plug. It changes so much from winter to summer. In the summer it's just popsicles and iced coffee. I guess I'm pretty obsessed with eggs. I have four egg cookbooks and multiple egg concepts in my brain. And right now, good carrots, like fresh carrots.
What do you wish someone would hurry up and invent?
A teleportation machine or a way to travel that's instant. I do love getting on planes and the act of feeling like you're escaping from everything, but you never feel great after a 15-hour flight.
Name the last movie you cried during.
I cry at a lot of movies, it's pretty normal. I did cry in the new Star Wars. Also The Theory of Everything.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Cooking. I'll get like really into it without planning it out, and then three hours later I'll just be like, "Dinner's ready!"
What one item would you save if your house was flooding?
My dog. He's a black lab mix named Harper. I also have a few pieces of my grandma's cooking equipment, like a casserole dish and a few of her utensils that I'd probably grab.
What's the best way for a customer to hit on you?
Be pretty forward. Since I'm a bartender now, I have to interact with everyone. I'm on the opposite side of the bar, so I don't want to be creepy and ruin your experience as a customer. No one's ever written their number on a receipt or anything, so that could be a way, except we use an iPad. But I can print you out one.
What's your favorite local band?
I like Little Tybee, they're probably my favorite. And the Shadowboxers are pretty good.
What's your least favorite thing about Atlanta?
The overly crowded places. It baffles my mind that people are like, "It's Saturday, let's go to this extremely popular place and go out to eat." Why do you want a bad experience?
Why do you think you're on the Lust List?
I don't know. I'm still waiting for this to be an elaborate prank.
FROM THE NOMINATOR: Where did you get your keen fashion sense?
I didn't know wearing King of Pops T-shirts every day meant I had a keen fashion sense, but great! I think have 45 King of Pops shirts with at least 30 of them being different colors. My favorite is heather grey with teal writing.
FROM THE NOMINATOR: How does your coif stay so coiffed?
I've been going heavy on the product for the past couple years. Super slick, because I'm edgy.