The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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General Manager bought two tickets to come to last year's event, but he, too, got caught up in the spirit of the party and the passion of the organizers. "He arrived right when the event opened, was lifting bars and juicing and he paid for his ticket," says DeWitt, the Bar Manager at Mise en Place, one of Tampa's oldest chef-focused restaurants. Douglas Coe's co-workers, friends, fellow bartenders and regulars also become involved. "We all make our bars better, and we all reap those ben- efits; for example, those same regulars at your bar are our regulars too," says Coe, who is the Bar Manager at Bern's Steak House. "The LCBG is trying to change the stigma of the word bar- tender – I love working with this Guild and I feel proud to be a bartender." For more information on the Left Coast Bartenders Guild, click to For tickets to the Repeal Day party, click to Left Coast Bartender Guild President Dean Hurst comes up with a great idea. City. The Inn, which at one time was a hospital, is the ultimate historic event space. The basement was once the morgue and now houses a spooky-cool bar and sitting area. Ryan Pines, who grew up in Ybor City and West Tampa, believes a mixologist steps on a stage when he steps behind the bar, a natural symbiosis for the theatrical hotel. "Vendors had their own spots because we rented out all of the rooms at the Don Vicente Inn. For example, we had an 'Art in the Age Room' with moonshine and an Irish band that transported you somewhere else," he says. "We stopped shaving months before and I thought, wow, I'm sitting at a hotel right now in Cuba and it's all lit up." Alex Barranco says one of the secrets to the Guild's success is their desire to educate a public that can't resist a glimpse into the past. "When a patron comes in to the event and sees what you're doing behind the bar, they then want to come to your establishment. We know what precision it takes to make a great drink, and we take the time to perfect it," he says. "I love tell- ing people, 'This is probably what your great-grandfather used to drink.'" The LCBG is all about education and working together. Their Repeal Day party breeds collaboration. Even VIP ticket buyers are not above pitching in. Education Director Nate DeWitt's 92 / the tasting panel / october 2012 Membership committee: Alex Barranco, Membership Director for St. Petersburg, and LCBG Membership Director Ryan Pines.

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