Tales & Cocktails: Herbe Sainte Is A Big, Easy Bet

There’s a cocktail revival sweeping the continent and we’re here to cover it. Welcome to Yelp’s Tales & Cocktails, where we spotlight 5-star bartenders and the establishments they work at.

There’s no other place quite like Herbe Sainte in Omaha’s Aksarben Village. For one, they bring an upscale menu of New Orleans-inspired dishes to a comfortable, classy and casual atmosphere in a Midwestern city. Another reason is they are coolly serving up some of the best cocktails Omaha has to offer, from NOLA classics to house-invented originals.

Austin Elsberry is one of Herbe Sainte’s talented bartenders. At 34, Austin hails from Fremont, Nebraska, although he’s lived and in worked in Omaha for the last 12 years. He’s been bartending for four years now. He’s also a musician and a self-described cat dad. Like so many others, his foray into bartending was a winding road of odd jobs until he happened upon a passion for creating meticulously crafted drinks, including the rotating, boozy slushies available daily at Herbe Sainte.

What did you do before bartending?

At various points I’ve worked as an auto mechanic, bicycle mechanic, in a recording studio, and in electronics retail.

Who or what inspired you to go into bartending?

I started by barbacking at House of Loom and was quickly ushered into bartending. The people and community at Loom, both behind the bar and out on the dance floor, drew me in and provided a nurturing and exciting environment in which to learn the trade.

Tell us a little bit about Herbe Sainte.

Herbe Sainte was the first restaurant opened by SamFam, LLC, in October, 2016. We’re a New Orleans-inspired cocktail bar and restaurant nestled in Aksarben Village focusing on traditional and original NOLA and Cajun/Creole fare.

  • Photos by Andy Lachance

What makes the cocktail program at Herbe Sainte unique?

Our cocktail program focuses on featuring many New Orleans-based classic drinks in addition to a strong original cocktail program. A collaborative affair, input and expertise from staff throughout the restaurant help shape our menu.

What’s your favorite cocktail to drink?

A crisp, bold Last Word.

To make?

At Herbe Sainte, I really enjoy coming up with new and interesting recipes for our slushy machine. Frosé all day!

Where’s your favorite spot to grab a cocktail?

In Omaha I love to swing by Nite Owl or Mercury. I also really enjoy Canon in Seattle. Fun cocktails, gorgeous interior, and their bottle collection is second to none.

Fatima Alliyani contributed to this post

Come meet Austin and check out Herbe Sainte October 22 as part of Yelp Omaha’s Tales & Cocktails event series. Details, RSVP and complete event lineup here.