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3 months ago

Lynette Marrero, Winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award and Her World Bartender Day Message


Winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award for The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021, Lynnette Marrero is more than a bartender, mentor, performer and co-founder of Speed Rack. Her overarching mission runs through everything she does: she inspires and empower others! We chatted with her about what this award means to her, the challenges the industry continues to face, good news to share in 2022 and most importantly—she left us a very special message for bartenders on their day!

The Tahona Society Editorial Team: What would you say to bartenders in celebration of World Bartender Day?

Lynette Marrero: “Thank you for all of the hard work and for continuing on! I have seen the strength of our industry during this pandemic. Thank you for speaking up and fighting for the industry and being very open and honest about your needs and ways you want to see the industry improve.” 

TSET: Why was it so important for you to win Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award? How does it benefit you at work?

L.M.: The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award means so much to me, especially this year. Not being able to connect in person with the wonderful people in this industry was really hard. It is these connections with peers that I value so much in this industry. We were forced to renew and rebuild these connections in a digital way, and I was fortunate to have many opportunities to foster these relationships from afar. From the Speed Rack Advisory Squad to other educational platforms such as Tales of the Cocktail and BCB Brooklyn, as well as advocacy work with the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. 

I think it is these efforts that resonated with my peers. We are all working to rebuild, renew, and reinvest in our community and we need to work together globally to make these very important changes. 

“The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award is chosen by my peers and it is such a beautiful award because it is the bartenders in the Top 50 who are choosing their representative for the year.”

Lynette Marrero

TSET: How does winning this award help to empower women bartenders around the world?

L.M.: I hope that it can be an example for other women in the industry. I hope that this inspires women to be ambitious and to be fearless in their pursuits. I hope I can be a mentor through my actions.

TSET: What are the needs and challenges that the hospo industry is facing now, in the US context?

L.M.: The year 2020 was about coping with the trauma of instantly having our worlds turned upside down. Everyone found their coping strategy. During this time I recognized that connection is really why I love this industry so much. It is such a generous industry filled with so many people who give and give. I found comfort in the ferocity of the industry to survive. I saw venues across the world sharing public strategies on pivots to help sustain business.

“I had incredible opportunities to connect virtually with friends in the industry and became closer to them than I think I ever would have had we not been communicating daily on WhatsApp, just being there for one another.”

Lynette Marrero

In 2021, I learned so many lessons. As we started to move out into the world again and started to attempt to “normalize,” I realized there is no normal. We are evolving and that is a good thing. There were broken systems that we were just repeating; now we can change those. As the world emerges from the pandemic and travel picks up, I urge the bar and restaurant community to hold on to any inward reflection they may have found during lockdown.

Follow Lynette at her IG account @drinksat6