DENVER — Bartender Tamara Eaker describes her workplace as a stage, and her drinks as a performance. Mixing and serving drinks at the Denver Biscuit Company, she's looking to win an award for her talent.
“Being behind the bar, you're on stage all the time," Eaker said.
When she was just 14 years old, Eaker started waiting tables before eventually earning her license as a bartender.
Eaker is putting her skills to use in the Bar Boss challenge. The challenge is sponsored by Dos Hombres, a Mezcal company created in 2019 by Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. The competition aims to award the winning bartender a $10,000 prize and a front-page photo on the cover of Bartender Magazine.
With nearly 21 years of experience serving drinks, Eaker said she can win it all. The Bar Boss competition is unique, because it’s not based solely on developing the new best drink, but on personality.
“If someone comes and sits in my bar, I can relate to you," Eaker said. "I can make you smile. I can make a joke and I can turn your bad day into a nice day.”
Dos Hombres is also working to raise money through the Bar Boss competition for the Kind Campaign, a nonprofit group that’s dedicated to combating girl-on-girl bullying.
Eaker said her main motivation to win is to support the nonprofit, but she also has a personal reason to compete.
"On Christmas Day, two years ago, I woke up with my eye completely grayed over," Eaker said. "I now have 13 permanent stitches in my eye."
After accidentally sleeping with contacts on, Eaker developed an infection that stole her ability to see. For over a year she was out of work, before eventually undergoing a Cornea transplant that partially restored her sight.
"It's still blurry and foggy and that's why I have to wear glasses now," she said.
It’s not clear how many bartenders are in the competition, but Eaker currently sits in seventh place in her group. You can vote for her here.
She said it's a honor to have made it past the initial rounds of cuts and she hopes to continue brightening people's days.
"Put a smile on your face," she said. "If you come here, I'll put a smile on your face.”