James Menkal

James Menkal Bar Manager, Central Bistro

James Menkal
Bar Manager, Central Bistro

Although born in California, James considers himself a Denver man at heart. He has been in the food and beverage industry for more than thirteen years, doing anything from slinging pizza to serving to refining his technique as a liquid chef. James started his bar tending career in Denver at Second Home Kitchen and Bar where he started out as a server and eventually worked his was up to bar tender. In 2009 James took a job as a floor manager and bartender for a staffing company in New York City where he had the chance to plug himself into several avenues of bar tending, getting to work for such venues as the Andaz Hotel, Arena, and a plethora of private events in the city. Bars like Apotheke, Milk and Honey, PDT, Pegu Club, and Employees Only are where he takes direct influence in his style. After a year of living in the big city, James took some time to visit San Francisco where he learned his skills as a barista before making his way to Houston Texas to become the head bartender for a gastropub called The Queen Vic Pub and Kitchen. There, James honed his skills as the head bartender and eventually got a hand in creating the seasonal cocktail menus. After finally finding his way back to Denver in January 2013, James found a warm welcome home at  Central Bistro and Bar. James hopes to bring the flavors, stories, and history from all three coasts to our Landlocked land of Colorado to help push and develop his own food and beverage scene at home.