Barman Steven Yamada will say goodbye to Bar R’evolution on Saturday, June 7, hosting a special cocktail pop-up from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., the closing hour of his final shift there.
“It’s my last opportunity to bartend for a while,” says Yamada, who has been tapped to be the head bartender and co-general manager of Jeff and Annene Berry’s Latitude 29, slated to open this fall
. “This is a big transition for me.”
Yamada is also president of the local U.S. Bartenders Guild chapter, and won last year’s regional final of GQ/Bombay Sapphire’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” contest.
In staging what he’s dubbed “The Countdown," Yamada draws on experience hosting other pop-ups, namely midnight speakeasies in his home and the recurring “Pop Shop” bottled cocktail parties
“To me, pop-ups allow for experimentation and creativity,” Yamada says. “You don’t have to worry about having to execute a drink consistently hundreds of times. You get the chance to be more complex.”
His pop-up menu will feature five drinks, including three Yamada originals, and they all include Campari.
The first is a classic Negroni, followed by a carbonated version, a hurricane variation (rhum agricole, overproof rum, passionfruit-lime syrup, Campari float), a riff on the Americano (using a salted preserved lemon syrup) and a tweak on the Pimm’s Cup (here, Yamada relies on premium bourbon, cucumber sour and Negroni foam).
Besides closing out his nearly two years total at Bar R’evolution, Yamada’s pop-up will be a closing event of Negroni Week
, and he’ll donate all proceeds from the event to the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation (please tip in cash, he says).
Though open to the public, Saturday night’s event will also have a speakeasy vibe, as customers will need to give him a code to access the pop-up menu (the password? “Countdown.”)