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Best Bartender 

Travis Stewart, Port Fonda

click to enlarge bokc08.jpg

4141 Pennsylvania | 816-216-6462 | portfondakc.com

There was no question who would be the leading man behind the bar at the new Port Fonda in Westport. "He's a real mescal-and-tequila junkie," says Patrick Ryan, the restaurant's chef-owner. "He knew exactly what our cocktail list needed to be." Ryan met his future mixmaster when Stewart was barbacking for the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. Stewart's bartending career had begun at 4 Olives Restaurant and Wine Bar in Manhattan, Kansas, where he earned his BFA at Kansas State University. "I paint and draw," the 29-year-old Stewart says. "I see mixing drinks as another palette for creativity." Ryan took note of Stewart's knowledge of liquors and passion for the job. "Travis is what you want in a bartender," Ryan says. "He's a professional. He looks good and is really nice with customers and the staff. He's perfect."

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