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"The Ladies Behind the Bar" Laguna Beach Magazine Article August 2011


"It’s been four years since we pro led the “Bartending Legends of Laguna”

in our Fall/Winter 2007 issue. Out of the seven bartenders we interviewed only two of them were women, so we wondered: Where are all the lady mixologists?

Historically, bartenders have been male. Female bartenders weren’t even allowed behind the bar in most parts of the country due to both social stigma and strict local law. Proprietors who did employ women were prosecuted fully. That didn’t fully keep the drink-slinging dames away from the bar, though. In 1895, for example, a U.S. Cen- sus report showed that 147 women worked as bartenders—compared to 55,660 men. Even as recently as 1971, California of cially barred women from “pouring whisky.”

Today you can nd a woman pouring whisky, whiskey and many other spirits, from behind just about every bar in America. Here, we salute the women of bartending and honor some of the best female bartenders serving your favorite Laguna libations."

"Laguna locals have been bellying up at The

Saloon for nearly 30 years, and for the past six-plus years, Erin Miyawaki has been there to greet them.

A true Laguna local (the only one on our list), Erin, 32, has seen it all—and she wants to tell you about it. “There’s a lot of history at this bar,” she says. “Peo- ple like having a local bartender here because we can talk about the good old days. It’s a place where friends

meet. It’s the ‘Cheers’ of Laguna.” It doesn’t take long after ordering a drink from

Erin before the stories of The Saloon’s past start oat- ing across the antique bar top. “It’s an old artists’ and writers’ bar, so there have been a lot of interesting characters and great conversations here,” she says.

The Saloon has been the local watering hole for many famous artists, including twin brothers Frank and Phil Interlandi. Frank worked as the editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times and Phil was one of the rst cartoonists for Playboy.

“Frank used to come in every day and have his red wine at that table there. I was lucky enough to catch him at the end of his life,” Erin says. Before he passed away in 2010, Frank donated a self-portrait to his fa- vorite local hangout. It hangs on the brick wall next to another framed cartoon drawn by his brother.

The Saloon patrons aren’t the only famous things to come out of the bar; even the drinks have become legend. “We have a famous shot called ‘Popos’ that only the locals know about and you can only get here,” Erin says.

It was created by a fellow Saloon bartender named Popos 20 years ago and is comprised of coffee liqueur and topped with hot coffee, but that’s all she’ll tell us."