The Female Bartenders Who Rule Dallas' Cocktail Scene

Categories: Drinking

Kathy Tran
Ivory Pope and Haydee Hernandez at CBD Provisions
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Mustachioed, bowtie-and-fedora-wearing Newsies extras shaking out cocktails is so last year: This is the year of the "ladytender."

Much more than just a pretty face, these badass chicks who don't need to wear a costume to craft a cocktail you'll come back for. They know their shit, they're good at what they do, and, bonus: They do it all with a smile. We scouted out some of the city's best and asked them a few questions.

First, a little about each:

Kathy Tran
Find Haydee at The Joule's Midnight Rambler once it opens up.
Haydee Hernandez, CBD Provisions:
My first job in the industry was at Billy Blues in Houston. I then came back to Dallas and worked at Dakotas's downtown. It was in 1999 when I joined the newly opened Samba Room. The four years I spent there would map out the rest of my career. I met many of the Dallas restaurateurs that we love, including David Pedack (my husband), Royce Ring, Chris Jeffers, Eric Justis... to name a few. A friend I met there led me to Local restaurant. I tended bar for Tracy Miller for 10 years! It wasn't until I helped her open Rosemont that I realized it was time for me to move on. A good friend of mine that worked at the Joule told me they were hiring due to a major renovation. Got the job and began my first training with Cuff's and Buttons from New York for the renovated bar at the Joule's pool. I then also went with them to the new Lobby Bar and then on to CBD. I am currently in the process of training for the new bar downstairs...Midnight Rambler.

Kathy Tran
Get schooled by Ivory at CBD's bar.
Ivory Pope, CBD Provisions:
I started bartending at various Brinker Intl. concepts (e.g. Chili's, Maggiano's, etc.) in Dallas, moved to San Francisco and transitioned into the nightlife/club bartending scene. San Francisco was my first introduction to pre-Prohibition style craft cocktails; it's definitely a lifestyle out there. After a few years out there, I moved back to Dallas and began working at the Joule hotel during a time when they began to revamp the entire hotel's cocktail program. After rigorous trainings from Cuffs and Buttons' Christy Pope and Chad Solomon, a core group of bartenders, me included, began opening various cocktail outlets in the hotel (pool bar, lobby bar) before ultimately, opening CBD Provisions in October 2013.

Kathy Tran
Crystal at Oak might just redesign the bar itself.
Crystal Vickous, Oak:
I grew up in Kentucky, but after college, I wanted to live in a bigger city. I hate cold weather, so Dallas was the perfect fit. I've been here for seven years and have worked in the restaurant industry the entire time. I've worked at The Mansion, helped open Dish, tended bar at the Gin Mill, and was at 560 before coming to Oak on a friend's recommendation. Oak was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Kathy Tran
Louise at The Windmill: the quintessential Dallas female bartender.
Louise Owens, Windmill Lounge:
Started out to be a movie star, fell into the food and wine business in the 1980's in NYC, moved home to Dallas, worked as a Marketing Manager for a wine importing company for 5 years. After that, I spent 10 years writing about food, wine and spirits for The Dallas Morning News.

My ex-husband, and business partner, Charlie Papaceno, had been laid off by Comcast in 2004. About a month later he came home and asked me if I wanted to open a bar. I said "Hell no." He said "The building with the neon windmill is empty." I said, "That's different." Craft cocktails were blowing up on the East and West Coasts and we thought Dallas was ready for a cocktail bar. We were wrong; it took five years for the Windmill to really catch on, but hey we are still here and business is booming.

Kathy Tran
At Barcadia, Julie Campbell brings a bit of Austin style to Henderson.
Julie Campbell, Barcadia:
I started bartending at 8.0 in the Quadrangle in 1997. Then moved over to Greenville Ave. and became the bar manager of both The Cavern and Soul II Soul. In 2001 I became partners and opened Minc Lounge. We were open until 2008. That is where I met Brooke Humphries and together we opened Barcadia in May of 2008. That next year I moved to Austin, managed Speakeasy on Congress and then became the bar manager at Icenhauers on Rainey Street. I decided to move back home, and now I'm back here running Barcadia with Brooke.

Kathy Tran
At Komali, ask Leann Berry for a Caliente Clementine made with Komali's Double Barrel Herradura.
Leann Berry, Komali:
I have been in the restaurant and bar industry for over twenty years. Abraham Salum found me at a little known spot, Ciudad, about 12 years ago. We built a friendship and always knew we would make a great team. When Abraham came to me about Komali I was completely on board! He gave me the freedom to create my "bar island" as well as a unique line of fresh cocktails that I regularly update with the seasons.

Kathy Tran
Go with the Bartender's Choice at Barter and watch Juli Naida shine.
Juli Naida, Barter:
I started bartending at Hooters and eventually I realized, it was either move up or move out. From there, I developed a thick skin and went on to a few other places like Humperdinks and Dave and Busters. That helped me in finagling my way into Barter. I convinced Rocco that I knew alcohol, but I think he could tell I just wanted to know alcohol. But that want was enough for him to give me a chance. I went from making vodka Redbull and Vegas bombs to making aviations and old fashioneds.

Kathy Tran
Visit Tyler Lott in the incredible new Rooftop Terrace at the Renaissance Hotel.
Tyler Lott, Asador:
I am originally from San Angelo, TX; basically boredom brought me to Dallas. I had a friend that worked for Marriott Sales in Plano and she constantly spoke of how wonderful the company is so this ultimately led me to the Renaissance Hotel.

Next up: What they drink at home, and the customers they love.

Location Info

CBD Provisions

1530 Main St, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Windmill Lounge

5320 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


1917 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


4152 Cole Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


2222 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

Cool. Female bartenders on the go... They'll surely can make good cocktails and mixes like the male bartenders. I want to visit the bars with female bartenders and enjoy the Cocktail Bar services that they will offer.


Ladytender makes no sense. A bartender is literally someone who tends the bar. It's already a gender neutral term.


 Women bartenders should be the norm.


Great story. Especially love to see Louise Owens getting props. Charlie Pap is, of course, superb. But Louise is every bit as much a foundation for The Windmill. Always happy to see her behind the bar.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter


Yeah. Odd term. Sounds like something right out of Anchorman's Ron Burgundy.

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