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What does a mixology mindset contribute or take away from the bar experience that makes it the wrong direction for the bar scene? For me, bartending is more than just drink knowledge and technical skills — it’s about the art of social conduct. I wouldn’t say that the mindset of being a mixologist is a wrong direction, as long as crafting cocktails doesn’t come at the expense of speed or excellent customer service. I believe a bar should be both the least intimidating and most fun place to relax and blow off steam. When people label themselves as mixologists, to me it feels like they limit themselves and lower their own drive to better themselves. And the customers are the ones who suffer. A good bartender should be well-rounded; he or she should be a mixologist and so much more! Beyond the ability to craft cocktails, they should have plenty of knowledge of the product they work with, they should have the speed, basic bartending skills, and last, but certainly not least, they should have the ability to communicate. Mixologist should be just one attribute of an excellent bartender. His drinks (can confirm: crafted to perfection) speak for themselves. And yet creating cocktail art is not where Ivo Peshev is completely absorbed; it’s in creating connections. With one hand a resting spot for a thoughtful mind and the other twirling about with storytelling powers, the conversation easily becomes a bit riveting. He believes bars and the people who commune within them are fulfilling emotional needs “here or here,” he says, pointing to his head and his heart. “When you’re heartbroken or down, you go to the bar. When you’re celebrating or feeling good, you go to a bar.” Whether with friends or alone with strangers, there’s a comforting embrace that greets patrons walking through bar doors — a bartender there filling up a glass with whatever you need most.  

What’s something you wish every one of your patrons knew before they walked through the doors of a bar? I want them to know I don’t just show up to work in order to make some money. Making cocktails and entertaining and pleasing people are all very much passions of mine. I am just one of the lucky ones whose passion happens to be his profession. You talk about bars as outlets for fulfilling emotional needs. What are some things you need in your life to feel balanced and fulfilled? Life couldn’t get more balanced than professional success with my business, Flair Project, combined with a healthy and happy family and being surrounded by friends. Personal fulfillment would be to really expand my business and open a second location of my school. Tell me about your company, Flair Project and the Flair Project Bar Academy. Flair Project is a bartending agency specializing in bringing energizing full bar service to private events, from weddings and corporate banquets to birthday parties and small gatherings with friends and everything in between. Fun people with good taste will enjoy our craft. We offer the most exquisite, lively, and captivating service and entertainment creating great drinks and unforgettable memories for our hosts and their guests. We don’t just want to bring the bar, we want to bring your bar to life! With the same mission in mind, we also offer training at our Santa Barbara bartending school and consulting services for bar owners and managers who want to develop, improve, or restore the reputation of their bar as a place with great customer service. All of our rich experience in the field combined with our flair skills also gives us the ability to represent brands with our artistry in print and video product promotions.

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Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  
Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 6

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