While we usually go to a bar just to grab a drink and have a chill time, it's really nice to come across a bar with a story. These bars all have roots with kickass bartenders or founders, and we love it!
1. Butter & Scotch
Butter & Scotch is a bar and bakery located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and cofounded by Allison Kave and her business partner Keavy Landreth. "We both had successful dessert companies previously (a pie business and a cupcake business, respectively), and teamed up to open our first brick and mortar. I also used to moonlight as a bartender for years, and have a real passion for cocktails, which is how the bar element figures into our scenario. We opened just over two years ago, and have developed an amazing staff and some incredible supporters, both locals and across the country," says Kave.
Feminism is a big part of the company culture: both owners are women, management staff is always staffed by women, and most of the team is comprised of women. “After the recent election, politics and feminism became a more concrete and focused part of our business, and we launched our current cocktail menu in January. Titled Winter of Women, it features cocktails with names like Smash the Patriarchy, This Pussy Grabs Back, and Not My President. $1 from every cocktail sold all winter is going to Planned Parenthood. We've also held events like Drunk Dialing Congress, where we give out free shots to anyone who calls their congressional reps. Despite the political tone, we are all about fun and indulgence, and have become a refuge of sorts for people who need to treat themselves to some cake and a cocktail, while drinking for a good cause!" says Kave.
2. Myrtle's Punch House
Molly Wellmann of Cincinnati is a self-taught mixologist who immersed herself in the history of cocktails, particularly those from the 1700's to 1950's. She is known for taking fresh ingredients like simple syrups, juices and bitters to create innovative takes on these classic cocktails. She has turned her skills and business acumen into a cocktail empire in the Cincinnati area, owning multiple bars across the city, including Myrtle's Punch House and Japp's. Since 1879, she authored the book Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist's Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night, gave speeches and demos on cocktails - particularly bourbon, and recently opened a full–service restaurant and cocktail bar at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center.
3. Treadwell Park
Anne Beccerra, the Beverage Director and Beer Cicerone at Treadwell Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is the first woman in NYC to become a Certified Cicerone. Anne has worked at the helm of some of the best beer bars in Manhattan including Blind Tiger, The Ginger Man and The Pony Bar. She was named one of the "Heroes of the Craft Beer Movement" by Vanberg and DeWulf Imports and has helped to organize major beer festivals around the world. She was also asked to be a part of the New York tasting panel with Riedel and Spiegelau, which helped create the first ever IPA beer glass. Anne was one of the few people to represent the beer industry at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Anne loves spreading the word about great craft beer almost as much as drinking it!
4. Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company
Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company is owned by the badass mother of four daughters, Hilary Passman. Not only does she single-handedly raise her kids and own a brewery, she also runs a bakery called Devil's Teeth Baking Company. Hilary Passman opened the doors of Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company in January of 2015 with one mission: to bring delicious food to her neighborhood, the Outer Sunset District of San Francisco. But this was not her first culinary venture in the neighborhood; Passman opened local hotspot Devil's Teeth Baking Company in 2011.
Over the years, she has transformed her quaint neighborhood into a dining destination for family and friends alike to enjoy house brews and excellent food. Surprisingly, Passman did not start her career in restaurants; in fact, she started off as a lawyer. While balancing her job and raising four daughters, she decided to find a more flexible career that allowed her to spend more time with her children. Passman began to sell custom wedding cakes on Craigslist, and due to high demand, eventually opened a full-time business out of her house. Passman realized that as she gathered more clients, she needed more space. This led Hilary to open her first store, Devil's Teeth Baking Company.
Kat Hunter, Executive Bartender at Bourbon in downtown Columbia, SC., is a roller-derby enthusiast and veteran of Columbia's drinking scene. By day, she peruses antique shops in search of vintage cocktail books for inspiration. By night, she slings killer drinks. One of her signature cocktails is the Frankly, My Dear: a whiskey and vanilla concoction featuring flaming orange zest. It's just the right amount of smokiness-meets-citrus while allowing the whiskey to shine. But don't just take our word for it. Kat has won Columbia's Avion Margarita Challenge and a Jager Spice Cocktail Bartender Challenge. She was also invited to MG Road Bar & Lounge in Asheville, NC to participate in a one-night guest bartender exchange. Next month, she'll be crafting a spring bloom champagne cocktail for the James at City Roots Farm in Columbia.
6. Drink Company
Angie Fetherston is the CEO of Drink Company, which owns and operates four bars in Washington, DC: James Beard-Award-nominated Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency and Eat the Rich. Last year, Fetherston was inducted into the LUPEC Dame Hall of Fame at Tales of the Cocktail and was just recognized this week as one of the rising stars on the DC culinary scene. She is also the brains behind Drink Company's series of viral pop-up bars, including Miracle on 7th and the current iteration, the Cherry Blossom PUB, which have both seen 2-hour lines around the block each night. (More than 50,000 patrons visited Miracle over the holiday season.) Angie's sister, Adriana Salame, is a bartender at all of Angie's bars.
7. Devil's Den
Erin Wallace is one of Philadelphia's premiere beer experts. Her craft-beer-focused bar Devil's Den is popular among beer geeks and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Erin is often behind the stick herself and with her team, craft a myriad of beer cocktails and traditional cocktails.
8. Cardinal Spirits
Baylee Pruitt, Alexandra Utter and Alyvia Cain are all behind the bar at Cardinal Spirits, Bloomington's first and only distillery. Baylee and her husband Chris are concocting all sorts of amazing tiki cocktails for the distillery's weekly Tiki Tuesdays. Alex is the master behind drinks like the Lady Rizzo and Alyvia is the brains behind cocktails like the Bye Bye Birdie. These ladies' creativity knows no bounds.
9. Del Sur Mexican Cantina
Sabrina and Natasha Mitchell of Del Sur Mexican Cantina in South Park are two ladies who not only kick ass behind the bar, but also kick ass as a team! The two are married, and can really stir up some synchronicity behind the bar. Together they create new libations, menu items and seasonal ingredients for crave-worthy cocktails. They have both been featured nationally on Tales of the Cocktail, sharing advice on cutting folks off of the sauce. These two have it all: personality, dedication and attitude. Del Sur is located in San Diego, Calif. and serves up delicious and healthy Mexican food for locals and visitors alike. The dog-friendly, vegetarian and vegan-friendly hot spot stays on top of trends like Jackfruit while still cooking up some of the best carnitas on this side of the border!
Sabrina and Natasha Mitchell
10. Avery Bar
Sterling Jackson is at the helm of the Avery Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston. What's so great or different about her? She's the perfect example of the fact that women can adapt or realign their career goals for success. She was a pastry chef and pastry supervisor for the luxury hotel company before deciding to follow her true passion – cocktail making. But she definitely didn't leave her "sweet" skill set behind. She says she uses her eye for precision, and to always create something eye-catching that will wow the senses – first when the guest sees it, then when the guest tastes and enjoys the cocktail she mixed behind the bar. Sterling Jackson has been a lead mixologist at the award-wining Avery Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston since its debut in 2011. In this role, she creates and executes the lounge's craft cocktail program, which changes seasonally and is often influenced by Jackson's stream of steady regulars. Jackson approaches cocktail-making with the creative and scientific precision of a pastry chef, since she previously served as pastry supervisor for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. She was the pastry supervisor at both The Ritz-Carlton in Boston and The Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove, Florida for more than seven years. She also served as pastry chef at the Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington. In her roles as pastry chef and supervisor, Jackson's creative vision had her making cakes, pastries and chocolate sculptures that were both impactful and delicious. She also liaisoned with local farmers to source the freshest ingredients possible. She maintains this same commitment to source and utilize local products and spirits for the cocktails she creates in Avery Bar, all while crafting beverages that impress even the most discerning social drinker. Under her direction, Avery Bar has been named "Boston's Best Hotel Bar" by Boston Magazine and is an ongoing winner in local spirits and beverage competitions.
Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com
In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.