Bar Director Janice Bailon
Janice deeply believes in individual stories. Each person's story should be examined and lived with intention. As a reminder, she has “Live your story” tattooed on her left wrist. Janice believes we are all creators in our own tale. We all have the ability to change and create opportunities for ourselves and for 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. These passions and hobbies she still cultivates; Forgotten classic cinema, movies and musicals, especially from the 1970’s and earlier. She loves lyrical dance and vocal technique. If you spend even just a few moments near Janice while she is bartending, you will witness dancing and lots of singing. One of Janice’s most beloved passions, both personal and professional is Agave. She loves everything agave. Agave spirits, agave cocktails and agave history and culture. Singing will also always remain a personal and a professional passion of hers. If she were not in restaurants she’d definitely be a popstar. Janice is always performing. She is consistently encouraging 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. It was a fun article to participate in. She felt prideful once published 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. In Janice’s own geeky circle, the article was being passed along as a great list and a good read. It made Janice feel both 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 she had to choose one person from the past to enjoy a meal with it would definitely be Rocky Yeh. Janice saw Rocky as the epitome of hospitality. He was a huge 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 an amazing human.
If Janice could live anywhere without money, work or time being a factor, she'd definitely choose the Caramoan Islands in the Philippines. She loves the islands because they’re untouched and breathtakingly beautiful. With mangrove trees, huts on water, amazing seafood, killer snorkeling and crystal clear water, there is little left to be desired. She could definitely see herself settling there. Also The Caramoan Islands are near to where her father's family resides and the family connection would be incredible.
When it comes to travel, Janice’s top destination would definitely 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. There are so many strings that tie both places together and so many beautiful layers to each culture to explore. Oaxaca in Mexico or Bicol in the Philippines are both places she’s drawn to and both have many comparisons.
Janice loves to pick a morning song to start her day, always making sure she can dance and sing to get the energy and happiness flowing. This helps to start her day off on a great note. On days off you will likely find Janice doing many of her favorite activities. She loves adventuring out of town (or in town) exploring eating & drinking spots, going to the river and floating down or taking a rest in calistoga. She 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, both her blood and her chosen people.