Meet Omar, The Crafty Mixologist Behind People's Last Stand.
Omar went from the local barback to having his drink featured in Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine. Drinks that are old fashioned with a variation to spark the interest of any avid drinker, and Omar serves up these cocktails with regularity at People's Last Stand, keeping his crowds coming back for more. We recently sat down with Omar to find out some more about his background and what influence others have had on his drink menus.
Name: Omar Yeefoon.
Bartending since: 2003.
First gig: Barbacking at the Dubliner.
How were you trained and where?
All real barmen learn the trade on the job, and that training never ends. For me, that started at the Dubliner Irish Pub and at the Old Monk. I started later doing a lot of research on my own to learn more about spirits and cocktails.
How many bars have you bartended at in total?
Where was the most interesting place you bartended?
Probably at my friend's house/warehouse party in Oklahoma City. He paid for me to take the train and then flew me home. I made a ton of cash!
An old fashioned, of course! But I'll usually go with a Negroni before dinner. I like to change it up.
What's your favorite drink to make?
Old fashioneds and variations of them. You could probably guess that, since I take so much care making them.
How would you describe your bartending style?
I'd say my style is based in the old traditional pre-, during- and post-prohibition recipes. Most of the classics can beat anything that modern barkeeps can create, but only if you can find the right ingredients
Least favorite drink to make?
Any mixed and chilled shots. If I'm taking time to create something for you, the last thing I want is to see you down it so fast — like, if you tasted it, it'd kill you
What would people say that the “signature Omar drink” is?
The first craft cocktail I ever created is the Muay Thai. It has shown up on multiple menus I have created., as well as in contests. It will also be featured in next month's Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine, Spirit.
What is your “desert island” spirit?
Bourbon. I could never get sick of bourbon.
What alcohol do you find underutilized in the Dallas bar scene?
Tequila, and mostly Mezcal. Texas makes up for 30 percent of the entire U.S.'s tequila sales. But I still think there's room for more!
What do you find most intriguing about the Dallas bar scene?
I think the speed of growth in the craft cocktail movement here is astounding. We're still catching up to many other places, but there are some fantastic new bars and bartenders that are pushing the edge of the envelope with their creations.
Beer, wine or liquor?
All of the above!
Is there a bartender that you considered your mentor?
As far as business goes, my biggest mentors are Peter Kenny (Dubliner, Capitol pub, Swig/Gin Mill) and Feargal McKinney (Old Monk, Idle Rich, Blackfriar, Renfields Corner). For cocktail creation, I look to Jason Kosmas (Marquee Grill) and Michael Martensen (Cedars Social).
What is the most valuable bartending tip you've learned?
The first and best tip I ever learned was to take care of your tools. The number one tool, of course, is the bar top. Keep it clean and organized!