Chris has been bartending for about 7 years moving to Las Vegas about a year and a half ago. He signed up about a year ago for the learning opportunities but specifically to be a part of our community that presents the opportunity to grow and remain challenged constantly. His approach to the craft of bartending involves using unfamiliar ingredients and combinations to challenge his nose and palate. He is currently working on his Cicerone program by going to Breakthru Beverage’s beer program. He is trying to enter as many competitions as he can! His favorite cocktail is the Negroni or a variation like the Boulevardier. You can visit Chris at Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas.
Phil has recently become a member looking forward to the seminars and learning opportunities our chapter has to offer. His approach to bartending allows his guests to be the center of the party while he makes sure they have a good time. Working on the strip gives him the opportunity to meet people all around the world. His favorite cocktail is one that he can create for a guest uncertain about a choice and willing to let him create one. Phil is definitely a beer guy. While he enjoys the occasional IPA, he just recently made a batch of hazelnut coffee stout! Catch Phil late night @ Fusion Mixology Bar inside the Plazzo.
Miki Candice Olivares
Miki’s approaches bartending as bridge to interacting with new people and to expand her horizons. Guest service is key for her. She signed up with the USBG to continue her education. She says she still feels like a child wanting to learn everything she can. While she prefers beer, specifically a well balanced stout or porter, she does like Negonis when she’s enjoying cocktails. Go visit Miki at the Pagoda Bar inside Lucky Dragon.
Susana has been in the bar game for 12 years and has loads of passion. She loves to get crafty with her cocktails and is always in search of ways to spruce up an Old Fashioned. When Susana is imbibing, its whisky neat and when she is working, you can find her at Lagasse Stadium at the Palazzo and at the SLS.
The Vesper Bar at the Cosmopolitan is synonymous with Vegas cocktail culture and one name that is synonymous with Vesper is Julian Luna. He’s been a USBG member since 2012 and his favorite cocktail is the Rosita. His approach to bartending is to work like a swan; to paddle like hell below the water and appear graceful and serene on top of the water, and to do it all one guest at a time!
Went to Velveteen Rabbit and sat with April Simms, a transfer from the Tuscon chapter in 2012, she’s been very active in our chapter with competitions and consistent attendance in USBGLV events.
Her main focus behind the bar is hospitality, she wants guests to feel warm, welcome and invited.
She’s currently inspired by gin because she believes guests have a misconception of the spirit. Often times they think it will taste like a Christmas tree and be overly piney. April enjoys the challenge of creating a cocktail these guests will enjoy by showing what gin really is.
Kenny has been a member of the USBGLV since 2011 and is the General Manager of Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits. Always a social creature Kenny loves the USGBLV for our events and educational seminars. He believes that, “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
Gene, a USBGLV member since 2008 and mentor to many, is currently at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill inside Caesars Palace. Hospitality is his main focus behind the stick. Gene is also inspired by classic cocktails and enjoys creating variations that still stay true to the spirit of the originals.
Pamela Jean Dylag
Co-owner and Bartender at Velveteen Rabbit, Pamela has been a USBG member since 2012. She is currently inspired by aged Cachaça and Mezcal cocktails. Come by and say hi!
Hospitality focused Barman Max, a USBG member since 2009, is currently behind the stick at Delmonico Steakhouse inside the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes. Be sure to visit and ask him about the secret menu or the amazing whiskey selection behind the bar. His approach to bartending? “I just want to make people happy”
Isaiah, a USBGLV member since 2013, is currently at Vanguard Lounge. Favorite cocktail is the Last Word, especially the Mezcal variant. His guests at the bar are his main focus “I want Vanguard to be their bar, their home base.”
Next time your at Tokyo 365 be sure to say hi to bar apprentice Heemo Yang. He joined the Guild in 2015, his current muse is gin, especially Bombay Sapphire East. He believes the keys to success behind the bar are Hospitality and meeting the guests individual expectations.
Katie Suiter is behind the bar most nights at Giada in The Cromwell. She hails from Arizona and joined USBGLV in 2015. Katie loves Vegas so far and is excited to get more involved in events with the USBG. Her perfect cocktail is a Negroni. Stop by and grab a drink!
At Velveteen Rabbit Andrew Smith, a USBG member since 2009, “makes aromatic dreams come true”. A recent California transplant who ran The Edison in downtown Los Angeles. Andrew’s three traits to being a well rounded bartender are speed, consistency and showing everyone at the bar a great night.
Tori Inouye Bender
Tori has been bartending for 6 years in various venues but now calls Atomic home. She has been with the USBG Las Vegas since 2014. Whether it’s a great craft beer or original cocktail, she’s got you covered!
Eric, a USBGLV member since 2010, is currently at Giada inside the Cromwell. “100% hospitality. I want people to feel like they’re sitting on their couch” he said when asked about his approach to bartending. He is currently inspired by pasta water and its applications in cocktail creation, especially a Bloody Mary. Next time you’re on the strip drop by and say hi!
Next time your in the Palazzo be sure to swing by Fusion Bar and say hi to Cynthia Benitez. USBGLV member since 2011, her focus behind the bar is a good attitude, creating a fun atmosphere balanced with great cocktails “because great cocktails equal love”. Currently inspired by Chartreuse of all types “the complexity in flavor and the history really inspire me”.
If you haven’t had the pleasure yet! Please meet the very First Lady bartender of Herbs & Rye! Emily Yett!! A member of our chapter since 2014, she loves a good Vieux Carre and uses the bar as a way to build relationships to ensure her guests have a great experience everytime! Cheer to you Emily! Check her out soon!
Aaron Baca has been bartending 17 years and has been a USBG member for 3 years. He is most inspired by Bourbon and trust me, he knows his stuff! If an alien landed and he could only serve them one drink it’d be a glass of 1969 Chateau Haut Brion. Stop in to see the amazing backbar at Sage and a very passionate bartender!
Wendy Helene Hodges
Next time you’re at the Venetian Palazzo be sure to visit Fusion Bar and say hi to Miss Wendy Helene Hodges who’s been a USBGLV member since 2009. Her motto is K.I.S.S. “Keep it simple stupid”. Favorite cocktail is the Negroni and she is currently inspired by Xicaru 100% Espadin Mezcal. Drop by and say hi!
Andrew has been in the USBG almost a year. He started bartending at a few local bars and then ended up at Yardbird and now also at Velveteen Rabbit. He’s currently inspired by Amari and has an incredible drive to learn and grow in this craft. Pay him a visit soon!