Bar Director Janice Bailon

 

Janice deeply believes in individual stories. Each person’s story should be examined and lived with intention. She has “Live your story” tattooed on her left wrist as a reminder. Janice believes we are all creators in our tale. We all can change and create opportunities for ourselves and others.

Born in Panorama City, California, and growing up in Ventura County, Janice embraces her California background. She feels California awarded her some of her greatest passions. She still cultivates these passions and hobbies: Forgotten classic cinema, movies, and musicals, especially from the 1970s and earlier. She loves lyrical dance and vocal technique. If you spend just a few moments near Janice while bartending, you will witness her dancing and lots of singing. One of Janice’s most beloved personal and professional passions is Agave. She loves everything agave, Agave spirits, agave cocktails, agave history, and culture. Singing will also always remain a personal and professional passion of hers. If she were not in restaurants, she’d be a pop star. Janice is always performing. She consistently encourages a lively, fun, and energetic vibe wherever she is present.

To date, Janice’s proudest professional accomplishment is in the realm of bartending, specifically to a time she was published in an article for Forbes featuring 18 tequilas to try. In Janice’s geeky circle, the article was being passed along as a great list and a good read. Once published, she felt prideful to have her colleagues, many of whom she had admired for years, recognize and congratulate her on her thoughtfulness, education, and selection. The entire process was inspiring. It made Janice feel validated in what she does and seen for who she is and how much she cares about her craft.

Janice would love to see more diversity behind the bar and, in general, more opportunities for all marginalized people. She firmly believes we all need to understand our implicit biases and make space for our mental health. This is one of the reasons why she admires Rocky Yeh so very much. If Janice had to choose one person from the past to enjoy a meal, it would be Rocky Yeh. Janice saw Rocky as the epitome of hospitality. He was a considerable influence within the AAPI Bartending community. He truly knew how to bring the vast community together with his even bigger heart. He always made time for those he cared about, even if it was only a quick drink or snack while breezing through an airport. Janice knows if she could share a meal with Rocky, It would be an inspirational experience with a fantastic human.

Suppose Janice could live anywhere without money, work, or time being a factor. In that case, she’d choose the Caramoan Islands in the Philippines. She loves the islands because they’re untouched and breathtakingly beautiful. There is little to desired with mangrove trees, huts on water, fantastic seafood, killer snorkeling, and crystal clear water. She could see herself settling there. Also, The Caramoan Islands are near where her father’s family resides, and the family connection would be incredible.

When it comes to travel, Janice’s top destination would be Mexico. She has a deep love for the culture surrounding agave spirits in Mexico. She’d love to dive into history and find how it relates to her own Filipinx heritage. Oaxaca in Mexico or Bicol in the Philippines are both places she’s drawn to, and both have many comparisons. Many strings tie both places together, and there are so many beautiful layers to each culture to explore.

Janice loves to pick a morning song to start her day, always ensuring she can dance and sing to get the energy and happiness flowing. Creating this energy helps to start her day off on a great note. You will likely find Janice doing many of her favorite activities on days off. She loves adventuring out of town (or in town), exploring eating & drinking spots, going to the river, floating down, or taking a rest in Calistoga. Janice enjoys biking and tasting through vineyards, driving up HWY 1, and getting oysters at Marshall Store. In general, she loves trying new foods and loves grocery shopping, a solid Asian market, like Ranch 99, is her therapy. Overall, her favorite way to spend time off is with her family, blood, and chosen people.