The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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Page 111 of 148

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BARSMARTS EDUCATION Cedd Moses, founder, 213 Nightlife Group; Aidan Demarest, owner, neat Bar in Glendale, CA; Philip Duff, owner, Door 74, Amsterdam; Dave Whitton, owner, Villain's Tavern, Los Angeles; Andy Seymour, owner, Liquid Productions; Erick Castro, owner, Polite Provisions, San Diego. Bartenders' Big Dreams SO YOU'RE ALREADY BARSMART. NOW WHAT? W e already know that graduating from BarSmarts, the innovative education and certification program offered by Pernod Ricard USA and BAR, LLC is a great resumé-booster for the serious bar professional. But once you've sharpened your swizzling, polished your pour and memorized everything there is to know about mezcal, what's the next step? For many bartenders, what follows is a dive into the great unknown with one simple goal: bar ownership. "Everyone in this room would be lying if they said they didn't want to one day open their own bar," said Clint Spotleson, a mixologist at Scottsdale, Arizona's Mabel's on Main, who, with a contingent of other AZ bartenders, made the trek to Los Angeles in early April to participate in the BarSmarts Pioneers in Mixology seminar that focused on how to open and operate a successful bar business. "I mean it's every mixologist's dream!" While owning and operating your own bar may be the ultimate goal, few bartenders find themselves equipped to make the move without some professional guidance. That's where Pernod Ricard's BarSmarts stepped in, gathering a panel of five of the industry's leading bartenders who have all successfully navigated the transition from behind the bar to holding the keys. Over the course of a day-long seminar, Philip Duff (Door 74, Amsterdam), Erick Castro (Polite Provisions, San Diego), Aidan Demarest (neat, Glendale, CA), Cedd Moses (213 Nightlife), Andy Seymour (Liquid Productions) and Dave Whitton (Villain's Tavern, Los Angeles) shared their experiences—both trials and triumphs—as bar owners, offering insights to an eager room of bartenders with their own big dreams. Topics ranged from how to target a specific clientele to how to manage investor relations, with the audience taking diligent notes and asking serious questions about profit margins and zoning ordinances. While attendees may have been dreaming of the future, the panelists were proud to provide the inspiration and insight. "Cocktail culture only progresses when great bartenders open bars," said Duff, as if he were inviting the room to rise to the challenge. "All it takes is for one person to open a bar that changes everything." With so many talented 'tenders learning from industry innovators, one thing's for sure: The future is bright for the bar owners of tomorrow. by Rachel Burkons Quick Tips from the Pioneers Panel Erick Castro: Have as few investors as possible. If lucky, just one. Aidan Demarest: When opening, plan and prepare to have six months of overhead in the bank. Dave Whitton: Take everything you've learned from every bar you've worked in and use it to your advantage. For video, Q&A and more information, visit www. may 2013 / the tasting panel / 111

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