Los Angeles bartenders are among the most imaginative in the world when it comes to the art of creating cocktails, and many of them also have an artistic side outside their bars. This past summer, dozens of L.A.’s top bartenders gathered for Art Beyond the Glass ll (ABTG II), the second annual fundraising event that features cocktails, art, music and more, entirely created and performed by bartenders.
Proceeds from Art Beyond the Glass II were donated to Art Share L.A., a vital non-profit that supports the arts, located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Art Share L.A. has a 28,000 square-foot warehouse with 30 subsidized live/work lofts for artists, along with a community-programmed facility that offers classes, exhibitions and events.
ABTG II took over the third floor of the members-only Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC), including the re-imagined Invention Bar, the Olympic Lounge, and the historic Centennial Ballroom. LAAC graciously donated its event spaces so that Art Beyond the Glass could maximize its donation to Art Share L.A.
In her sneak peek of ABTG II, Los Angeles Magazine cocktail blogger Caroline on Crack dubbed the inaugural ABTG “the party of 2012.” This year’s event featured even more bartenders showcasing their artistry within and beyond the glass, including returning bartenders Julian Cox (Soigné Group); Brian Butler (Sunny Spot, The Brig); bartender/artist Justin Pike (The Tasting Kitchen); bartender/artist Jason Schiffer (320 Main) and DJs Dave Fernie (Pour Vous) and Steve Livigni (Old Lightning).
First time participants included bartender/artist Gabriella Mlynarczyk (ink); Beau DuBois (The Corner Door); bartender/artist Brittini Rae Peterson (Goldie’s); DJ Dino Balocchi (littlefork); bartender/DJ Paul Sanguinetti (Patina Group); and furniture designer Philip Renderer (Seven Grand L.A.). Neat owner Aidan Demarest of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets, which revamped Invention, stepped into his role as emcee with practiced ease.
Art Beyond the Glass ll was made possible with the generous support of sponsoring brands, including Bacardi, Becherovka, Leblon Cachaça, Karlsson’s Vodka, Pisco Portón, Templeton Rye, Fernet Branca, Morrison Bowmore, Aviation Gin, Belvedere Vodka, Java Juice, Art in the Age, Cointreau, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Diageo, Miracle Mile Bitters, and Angel City Brewing. Additional sponsorship and support provided by dineLA and Red Bull.
Thanks to the combined efforts of bartenders, brands and the cocktail community at large, Art Beyond the Glass II raised $13,700 for Art Share L.A., more than double what we raised for last year’s charity, Inner City Arts. When ABTG co-founder Zahra Bates and yours truly presented the donation check to Art Share L.A. executive director Cheyanne Sauter, she told us she had no idea the donation would be that large, and the funds would help Art Share L.A. in ways we couldn’t imagine. Sauter then introduced us to two of the resident artists and told them about the donation. Without hesitation, both of them donated artwork to be auctioned off at a future Art Beyond the Glass event. Below is Moss Stone by J.W. Pippen.
Many thanks to everyone who helped make ABTG II such a success, especially the management and staff at LAAC, without whom the event would not have been possible. Let’s do this again next year, shall we?
After the jump: highlights, photos and Instagrams from ABTG II. For more information, visit Art Beyond the Glass.
In her ShakeStir recap, Lanee Lee called Art Beyond the Glass L.A.’s own “ultimate cocktail fest,” a counterpart to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. ABTG II certainly had the same sweltering heat as Tales, thanks to air conditioning that struggled to cool down the third floor. Luckily, there were plenty of liquid refreshments to keep guests from overheating.
At ABTG II, bartenders were organized into teams that featured sponsoring brands in their cocktails.
- Team Bombay Sapphire: Chris Ojeda (Soho House), Kate Grutman (Soho House), Mia Mastroianni (Soho House), Nathan Burdette (The Bazaar)
- Team Del Maguey / Becherovka: Devon Tarby (The Varnish), Giovanni Martinez (Sadie), Julian Cox (Soigné Group), Rosie Ruiz (Connie & Ted’s)
- Team Infinium – Casa Noble Tequila & Zaya Rum: Dr. Christopher Day (Cole’s), Dan McClary (Westside Tavern), Joe Swifka (La Descarga), Justin Pike (The Tasting Kitchen)
- Team Leblon Cachaça: The 3 Graces at Cole’s (Brent Falco, Cari Hah, Zahra Bates), Jason Schiffer (320 Main), Justin Roberts (La Descarga)
- Team Pisco Portón: Brady Weise (1886 Bar at The Raymond), Brittini Rae (Goldie’s), Chris Amirault (Eveleigh), Daniel Zacharczuk (La Descarga)
- Team Aviation Gin: Daniel Warrilow (Son of a Gun), Kiowa Bryan (Eveleigh), Michelle Bearden (320 Main), Paul Sanguinetti (Patina Group)
- Team La Niña del Mezcal: Angela Gomez (A-Frame), Beau du Bois, Brian Butler, Jen Len (Caña)
- Team Belvedere aka Team Handsome: Dan Long (Big Bar), Francois Vera (No Vacancy), Ricky Yarnall (OCBC)
- Team Campari America – Campari & Cynar: Daniel Warrilow, Dave Kupchinsky (Eveleigh), Jill Webster (Harvard & Stone)
A montage featuring Gabriella Mlynarczyk, Team Campari America, and Julian Cox:
The Invention Bar hosted several of the event’s top sponsors, as well as DJ sets from Paul Sanguinetti, Dino Balocchi, and another rocking closing set from Dave Fernie and Steve Livigni:
Giovanni Martinez serving his Oaxacan Czech Point, made with Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal, Coke, Becherovka ice cream:
One of the crowd favorites was Christopher Day’s Old Fostered, a boozy Bananas Foster made with Zaya Rum, Miracle Mile Chocolate-Chili Bitters, Java Juice, and fried banana demerara syrup.
The Olympic Lounge featured two satellite bars and Angel City Brewery, which took care of thirsty guests from its popular corner station. Angel City also donated beer for participating bartenders to use in cocktails, such as Brady Weise’s Panic at the Pisco: Pisco Portón, lime juice, St. Vincent pineapple gum syrup, Angel City IPA, and yuzu bitters.
Dave Stolte (Home Bar Basics) and his wife Kristin took bids throughout the day at the silent auction table. Dave donated his 12 Basic Drinks poster, which was won by Nick Settle of The Parish, while Kristin won a fierce bidding war for the Hedley & Bennett apron. Louis Anderman of Miracle Mile Bitters donated the world’s last available bottle of the legendary Clusterfuck Bitters (won by Noelle Royer of Seattle) and a box of rare Miracle Mile Bitters (won by photographer Zach Schrock).
Also in the Olympic Lounge, Zane Lamprey and Dan Dunn recorded two episodes of their podcast, Happy Hour with Zane & Dunn, with special guest Oliver Cooper of Californication. In Part One, the guys give shoutouts to the Taco Truck (La Niña del Mezcal, pineapple and cinnamon-infused Campari, Carpano Antica, mole bitters) by Beau du Bois, and Dan Long’s Belvedere Intense Unfiltered infused with coconut. Part Two features raucous interviews with Dave Kupchinsky, Francois Vera, and Paul Sanguinetti. As this post goes live, Part Two is the most-downloaded episode in the show’s history.
The expansive Centennial Ballroom featured more satellite bars, displayed bartender artwork, and hosted the live performance stage, along with DJ sets by Allan Katz (Caña) and Naomi Schimek (The Spare Room). Johnnie Mundell of Morrison Bowmore sponsored a special version of his “Whisky for Words” pop-up, donating $50 for every poem recited on stage by a bartender. Participants included Natalie Bovis, Tricia Carr, Zahra Bates and Seven Grand’s Luke Ford, who recited his poem in French. Oh là là!
The bartenders and brands got into the spirit of ABTG II with everything from Belvedere’s “Team Handsome” shirts to Team Campari America’s retro uniforms, and custom menus designed by Brian Butler for Team La Niña del Mezcal.
Dave Kupchinsky, Jill Webster and Daniel Warrilow served Cynar and Campari Sno-Kones, which was likely the most shared ABTG II station on social media:
Gabriella Mlynarczyk’s Scotch cocktail, made with Bowmore 12, Fernet, Java Juice, and coconut-Guinness foam:
Cigar roller provided by Pisco Portón:
Diageo sponsored the magic show performed by Joshua Lucas and Jordan Gold of the Writer’s Room. The performance included tricks like “Dickel in a Box” and the showstopper, making a “Moscow Mule” (Anna Knudson) appear out of nowhere.
Following their stellar performance at the inaugural Art Beyond the Glass, Erik and Lauren Trickett were back by popular demand, and they closed out ABTG II with The Victorians.