Ryan Bean, Hope & Anchor
Anyone who’s had a cucumber vodka at Hope & Anchor can tell you the place serves some tasty drinks. Often they’re slung by Ryan Bean. “[Owner] Chris [Lewels] gives us free rein,” Bean says of the bar’s signature style. “We take classic cocktails and put spins on them. I like to take Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, things like that, and reintroduce them to the public.” The 29-year-old, a Franklin High and UTEP grad, has tended bar for about eight years. The last four have been at Hope, which he’s represented at the annual Neon Desert Battle of the Bartenders, winning Best Cocktail in 2012 and 2013 and Best Overall in 2014. Judges decide that contest; voters decide ours. When both the experts and the public agree, you know there’s something there. 4012 N. Mesa St., 915-533-8010.