After almost a decade working for some of the most well-regarded cocktail bars and fine dining restaurants throughout New York, Houston and Los Angeles, the now 29 year-old Yael Vengroff helms the beverage program at The Spare Room as Bar Director.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Yael moved to New York City in 2005 to attend New York University. During this time she worked alongside some of the world’s best bartenders, most notably as the youngest female bartender behind Audrey Saunders’ iconic Pegu Club where she learned the value of good service behind the bar. Having discovered a new-found love for tiki-inspired cocktails, after two years with Pegu Club, Yael landed a Head Bartender position at the former Lower East Side Tiki bar, Painkiller.
In 2012, Yael moved to Los Angeles after accepting a position with Proprietors LLC where she assisted with beverage development and operations management for the Los Angeles-based hospitality company. Prior to joining The Spare Room, Yael could also be found behind the bar of Hollywood’s Harvard & Stone where she became known for her playful personality and whimsical cocktails.
In her current role at The Spare Room, Yael continues living the bar’s longstanding philosophy of providing guests with unappalled hospitality, while also offering her creative spin on hand-crafted cocktails, without sacrificing quality ingredients or proper techniques.
In addition to her work behind the bar, Yael also holds a number of titles with Speed Rack – the National charity bar competition that honors women bartenders and helps to raise funds for breast cancer research – including the 2012 National Champion, the 2013 Champion of the West Coast Rematch and 2014 Champion of Fastest Hands in the West. In 2015, Yael was also named Zagat’s 30 Under 30, recognizing her work as one of the top industry leaders in Los Angeles.