Mini Bar With narrow, long proportions reminiscent of a shotgun shack, this place lives up to its name. Space is used judiciously. The simple, clean aesthetics of the booths, tables and bar seem intentionally designed to not overshadow the art hanging on the walls. Mini Bar doubles as an art gallery, and the art is rotated frequently. Austin, Texas, native Genevieve Coleman holds a bachelor’s degree in acting and has previously worked as a film production coordinator in Los Angeles. A writer and artist, Coleman’s work has hung on the bar’s walls and will again be featured in a Mini Bar exhibition beginning Thursday.
What prompted you to become a bartender? I’d always wanted to be a bartender. I lived on a sailboat when I was a kid and loved to play bartender for my parents. This was in the Gulf of Mexico. My mom and stepdad sailed. Thank God I found bartending, because I love it. I really like being in bars and now I get paid to be there, which is kind of awesome. One of the sort of nerdy bartender things I do is I love learning about the history of drinks and where they come from.
It’s fashionable to bring back classic cocktails, yet you have to do something new and different to capture the public’s interest. Is that a difficult balance to achieve? It’s great to bring back those cocktails, because those are good, solid drinks, but what happens is people try to make them into something new and different, and what gets lost is they forget how to make the original cocktails. It’s kind of neat to think about mixing things together to make people feel better.
Besides the fact that it’s an art gallery, what else distinguishes Mini Bar? We have very good, high-quality, solid drinks. Any day that you come in, you’ll find a lot of people from the neighborhood. For such a small bar, we have a great selection. I can’t stand going to a place where you have 100 different whiskeys and only one vodka to choose from.
What should people know about your upcoming show? It has a Dia de los Muertos theme, and the other artists in the show are my old friend Beth Loudmouth as well as Chelsea Tucker and Mark Hamer.
What are your paintings and drawings like? I’ve got a painting of Boba Fett rendered in Dia de los Muertos style. I incorporate a lot of “Star Wars” themes into my work. I’ve also done zombie pinup girls. I have a series of paintings of motorcycles made out of women’s bodies and organic stuff. I also do a lot of comic book-type art.
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. pineapple juice
Shake and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Can be garnished with lemon twist if desired.