Photo by Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan
(Published in the October 2010 issue)
Sean “Sonic” Leckie’s bartending resume includes
prominent local hotspots: the W Hotel’s Beach,
Onyx Room, Vin de Syrah and even Petco Park.
Nowadays, he slings drinks at Basic Urban
Kitchen & Bar in East Village, and he’ll soon be pouring
at Basic’s new sister spot, URBN Coal Fired Pizza and
Bar in North Park. Yet, despite all the public face-time
from his bar gigs, it’s Sonic’s voice that people most often
recognize. That’s because when he isn’t behind the bar,
he’s a weekend deejay and producer at Channel 933
FM-and he used to be the sidekick on the radio station’s
highly rated morning show, AJ’s Playhouse, where he was
known for his song parodies and quick wit.
During a rare occasion when he’s off-air and isn’t on-
tap, Sonic dishes on his radio gig, the time he insulted
Green Day and why men should never ask him to make
his specialty cocktail.
PacificSD: So, how does a bartender land a job on the radio?
Sonic: Hard work. I started as an intern when I was going
to school and moved up within four years, after working
at other stations like KGB. Now, I’m a morning show
producer and deejaying on the air on weekends at 933.
What’s your specialty cocktail?
I can make a mean mojito. Besides
that, when a dude comes in says, “What
can you make that’s good?” I just make
them something really jacked up, like gin
with Red Bull and cream.
[Laughs] It’s disgusting, man! They
pretend to like it because they don’t want
to insult you. For girls, it’s all right to do
that, but a man should know his drink.
Most embarrassing bartending moment?
Oh, man, one time I was doing this trick
where I squeeze the lime in the drink,
throw it behind my back, and it comes
back around and I catch it in the glass.
I was showing off for these girls and I
flicked the lime right into my eye-it was
watering uncontrollably and turning red.
Yeah, that’s what they said. The girls
were like, “niiiice.”
Favorite hangover recovery spots: “Oh, the Hash House [in Hillcrest]
for sure. you can get the ‘Hair of the Dog,’ which is a really big Bloody
Mary and a ton of food. I always get the fried chicken.”
Preferred late-night nosh: “I’m not trying to drop a plug, but Basic is
serving pizza til 1:45, and they’re right by my house.”
Celebrity customers: “This one guy came in, and I was making fun of
his tie-until my buddy told me, ‘Hey man, that’s the guy from Green
Day [ Billie Joe Armstrong ].’”
Biggest Tip: “A couple hundred bucks? I can’t remember, or maybe I
just don’t deserve one. When you serve gin with Red Bull and cream,
you might not get a big tip.”