Jorge Herrera, Up On Knox, Georgie
Porfirio "Pro" Contreras, Tate's Dallas
This is the only way to stock the tremendous wall of whiskey at Tate's. Pro is an OG in every sense of the phrase. I can still clearly remember the first time I met him. I was new to the area and really into Japanese whiskey. It was whiskey Wednesday and there were just a few too many guests at the bar top for him to chat with everyone. The guy next to me, reading his Kindle, lived at the apartments across the road and Pro introduced us. We quickly struck up a conversation and since the guy was there first, our drinking speed was off by half a drink, causing both of us to stay for "just one more" about 2 extra times!
Where are you from?
But really, where are you from?
I grew up in Oak Cliff until middle school and then I finished high school in The Colony... Culture shock! I went from being in a predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhood to a white neighborhood. This was probably in the early 90's.
What cocktail are you making today?
I can make anything? *eyes wide open* *eyebrows arched with excitement* Sidecar! *dramatic pause* *proceeds to walk the bar like he's producing an infomercial* We're going to use Remy Martin 1738, Cointreau, fresh lime juice - that's what makes it different. And we're going to use a brown sugar and cinnamon on the rim. That's going to give it something special.
Who is the non-bartender rendition of you?
I'm daddy. Family man. That's it. Everything I do is for my kids and my family. They really changed my life around. If I didn't have them I don't know where I would be.
Can you make me laugh?
Me?? *makes a ridiculous face* I just did!!
Can we do this again?
Pro is a guy that will have regulars until the day he hangs up his bar key. He's never met a stranger and he finds a way to connect with people with astonishing ease. Don't be fooled by his tough, tatted image. He's got a tremendous heart and would do anything to help a friend, even a friend that's just a cocktail waitress.
Joe Shirghio, Bowen House Dallas
Who makes the best bar guest?
Their name? Or what kind of person? Um…. Wow… *blinks* *blinks again* *looks up at the sky* This is a really hard question. I would say the perfect bar guest is someone who knows and is confident in what they want but also willing to engage and discuss their beverage. I don’t’ really need someone that talks a lot. Just have a good time.
….and talk to your neighbors.
….and stay off the phone.
Why does everybody love Joe? To be honest, it's impossible to not love Joe. He's honest and hard-working. He's a master of hospitality, probably improving to a dangerously fierce degree after working with one of the most hospitable bar owners in Dallas, Pasha Heidari, for half a decade. He's a cocktail genius with an affinity for vermouth and botanically based flavors. And he's never met a stranger.
Rosey Sullivan, Armoury D.E.
Rosey gives us purposeful answers that are thoughtfully articulated and paint a picture about her past and present. But, if you're ever in a one on one conversation with Rosey you will totally adore her sensitive gazes, hilarious pauses, and ability to quickly smile when she's entertained by something. If you're fortunate enough to visit Armoury when she's behind the bar and the crowd isn't three deep be sure to ask for one of her bespoke cocktails.
Stephanie Kennedy, Oak Cliff Social Club
Tiffany Powell, Boulevardier
Tiffany is probably one of the most straight-forward and earnestly chatty bartenders we know. She's quick to laugh, easy to engage, and constantly has her head on a swivel. And, who doesn't love someone who sees their job as a bartender as an opportunity to help get someone laid!
A Betty (by a broad definition) is honest and brave, loyal and nurturing, witty and fun. She's balanced, quirky, open-minded, complex, and flawed. She's soulful and driven. And I think there's a little Betty in all of us.