Mixology king Aidan Demarest's Glendale hideaway, Neat, turns 1 this Sunday. To celebrate the milestone, Demarest is throwing a birthday bash that day featuring a backyard BBQ, lots of Sailor Jerry barrel-aged cocktails and a stellar lineup of guest bartenders including John Lermayer, Erick Castro, Mia Sarazen, Rich Andreoli and Arash Pakzad.
"I've got so many bartenders working that night that there won't be room for customers," jokes Demarest, adding that another superstar bartender is on the roster who he can't announce yet.
When Demarest opened Neat, his business plan flew in the face of the city's thriving mixology scene. His idea was to serve spirits neat beside a great beer. No frills, no flair, no housemade syrups, fancy garnishes or complicated floats. The time was right and the bar has thrived alongside a still-vibrant craft cocktail scene, proving that it takes all kinds when it comes to booze in L.A.
"The most exciting part of this project was the accidental discovery of the 'neat' concept," says Demarest. "In 2013 the second one will be announced. This is a prototype."