The Female Bartenders Who Rule Dallas' Cocktail Scene
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Kathy Tran Ivory Pope and Haydee Hernandez at CBD Provisions
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:
Haydee Hernandez, CBD Provisions:
Kathy Tran Find Haydee at The Joule's Midnight Rambler once it opens up.
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.
Ivory Pope, CBD Provisions:
Kathy Tran Get schooled by Ivory at CBD's bar.
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.
Crystal Vickous, Oak:
Kathy Tran Crystal at Oak might just redesign the bar itself.
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.
Louise Owens, Windmill Lounge:
Kathy Tran Louise at The Windmill: the quintessential Dallas female bartender.
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.
Julie Campbell, Barcadia:
Kathy Tran At Barcadia, Julie Campbell brings a bit of Austin style to Henderson.
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.
Leann Berry, Komali:
Kathy Tran At Komali, ask Leann Berry for a Caliente Clementine made with Komali's Double Barrel Herradura.
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.
Juli Naida, Barter:
Kathy Tran Go with the Bartender's Choice at Barter and watch Juli Naida shine.
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.
Tyler Lott, Asador:
Kathy Tran Visit Tyler Lott in the incredible new Rooftop Terrace at the Renaissance Hotel.
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.