Mixologist Jim Romdall of Vessel - Biography

Seattle, Seattle

October 2011

Jim Romdall is making some of Seattle’s most compelling cocktails, but his professional life took a few twists and turns before landing behind the serious bar where he belongs. Romdall grew up in Seattle and studied film at the University of Washington. Soon after turning 21, he got a bartending job where he was instructed, “sling drinks as fast as you can and cram as much alcohol into them without having them taste like it.” Jim excelled at his job, yet soon tired of breaking up fights and cleaning up messes. He wanted to make movies, so he moved to Los Angeles.

After a careful job search—between catching waves—he became a bartender at the fine dining restaurant Granita, in Malibu. He became immersed in the world of food, wine and spirits, and was soon promoted to bar manager. He remained there and indulged his passion for knowledge, flavors, and experiences until the restaurant closed.

Jim returned to Seattle in 2006. Vessel had recently opened and the bar manager there, Jamie Boudreau, was hiring. Classic cocktails? Sure. Romdall soon fell in love with the world of serious cocktail culture; he absorbed everything he could, and became bar manager in 2008. He is also one of the founding members of the Washington Bartenders Guild, established in 2008.

Romdall loves being on the forefront of the cocktail world and plans to stay there. He says his high ambitions are matched only by the amount of fun he’s having.