“Bartender Of The Year” Simon Kaulback On Horses And Flying

April 19, 2011.

Simon Kaulback is a veteran barman in Vancouver’s cocktail scene and the manager of Gastown’s popular Boneta restaurant (due to move to new digs later this Spring). He was recently named 2011 Bartender of the Year by a jury of his peers. Say hello…

The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Kraft Dinner and ketchup.

Default drink/cocktail of choice? G n’ T.

Drink/cocktail you’ll never have again? Anything that needs an explanation from “the mixologist“ on how to drink it.

Fashion turn-off? Clothes that don’t fit.

Fashion turn-on? Women that can pull off the “I don’t give a F—K style”.

What is your favourite local patio? My roof top garden.

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? Started to lose it.

What are the three things you’d like to change about Vancouver? Happy Hour, Happy Hour and Happy Hour.

Is there a local bartender who could sell you anything? Yes.

Your go to, no-frills place for dinner? Pho Van on Fraser (unofficially known as “Disco Pho”) or Miko Sushi on Robson.

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? Sydney, Australia to visit my sister and my two nieces.

The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years? The Art of War, Catcher In The Rye and The Anarchist Cookbook.

Who’s style do you covet? Tom Ford’s and Football Mike’s.

Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure? Portland. Oh, lovely Portland.

What is your biggest phobia? Disappointing my family.

Where did you go to school? In a school, obviously.

Shoe of choice? Flip flops.

The different career path that you could have gone on? Meteorologist.

Your ancestry? English/Irish with a little German to boot.

Your major character flaw? I’m too quick to trust dodgy characters.

The character flaw in others that you can’t abide? Dishonesty.

How do you know when you can trust someone? When they time and again put your wellbeing before theirs.

What was the luckiest moment in your life? Doing this interview.

What was the unluckiest moment in your life? Finishing this interview.

What are you the most proud of? My family and friends.

What are you the least proud of? Getting [Diamond barman] Ron [Oliver] to do this interview for me.

What frustrates you the most about your work? People assuming that what we do is not a profession.

The relatively normal piece of clothing that you believe you’d look the most ridiculous in? A Santa Claus suit. Trust me, it’s in my closet.

The talent that you wish you possessed? To fly. Is that a talent or a superpower? I don’t care. I want to fly.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions? Panic in Babylon by Lee “Scratch” Perry (listen)

What musical instrument you secretly long to play? The triangle.

What sport did you give up and why? All of them. If I can’t get paid to play a children’s game, I ain’t playing.

What is the one animal that scares you the most? Horses. Terrifying, I know…

Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances? Only finger guns, like Ice Cube said “Today I didn’t even have to use my AK, I got to say it was a good day”

The thing of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die? A pocket square my father gave me.

The song that you could listen to on repeat for an hour? The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band (listen).

The first three things that you do every morning? Shit, Shower, Shave.


  • Chungbot

    Stay classy Sy.

    Btw what’s a pocket square?

  • Nancy Baumann

    Dearest Simon,
    Cogratulations on winning this award!
    I am so very proud of you…
    And i had fun reading your interview…it gave me not just insight into who you are, but a giggle too ;)
    Stay happy, stay healthy.
    lots of love from the choclate covered mountains in Switzerland,

  • Rhek

    Congrat’s Sy – you deserve this award. Great interview too.

  • Sabinski

    Simon, way to go! You are a true BarMan, tending to each guest as though they were your only client. Keep up the craftmanship of your trade my friend!

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