Best Bartender - 2011
Wesley Nieto at Bikini Lounge
It's hard to imagine all the insane things Wesley "Wes" Nieto has seen over the 23 years she's worked at Bikini Lounge, one of downtown's most cherished dives. Naturally, Nieto is one tough lady, never one to mince words, and more than apt to deliver a stinging insult if she finds your drink order less than worthy. But that's all part of her charm — she'll rip you a new one with a smile, then pour you an extra-stiff cocktail to salve the wound. Her two-plus decades at the Bikini dealing with crazies and louts have honed her into the perfect bartending machine, able to crack a joke, kick an ass, or slide a shot down the bar — whatever the moment calls for.