Best of SA 2012
Published: April 25, 2012
1. Roger Medina Jr.
Sparky's Pub, 1416 N Main, (210) 320-5111, sparkyspub.com
In "One for my Baby," when Sinatra intoned "so set 'em up Joe, I got a little story you oughta know," he could've been alluding to the kind of bartending skills Roger Medina, Jr. displays. Sometimes, people don't need just drinks poured, but an empathetic listener. An accomplished bartender at the young age of 24, Medina also is adept at the more intangible skills the bartending profession demands. "He has a wonderful personality and a smile that lights up the entire room," his manager says. "If you were to walk here alone, you wouldn't feel alone for long. He is always smiling and has quite a following." But Medina — a bartender at Sparky's for more than a year now — doesn't trade on charm alone. He's a great and instinctive mixer, emerging the winner in a competition among bartenders a few months back with a spontaneously created concoction featuring Red Stag, a cinnamon whiskey by Jim Beam the pub was promoting at the time. "Set 'em up, Roger" sounds alright to us.
2. Javi C. Gutierrez (Tie)
The Esquire Tavern, 155 E Commerce, (210) 222-2521, esquiretavern-sa.com
Rookie's Bar, 6402 Callaghan, (210) 377-0909, rookiesbarservices.com
3. Olaf Harmel (Tie)
Mon Ami Lounge, 4901 Broadway, (210) 822-3253, facebook.com/mon-ami-lounge
Costa Pacifica, 434 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 491-1378, costapacificausa.org