Rising Star Bartender Yael Vengroff of The Spare Room - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

April 2017

Houston native Yael Vengroff got to where she is today by pushing the envelope—and herself. While attending New York University, she landed a cocktail serving gig in the East Village and, almost by sheer will alone, got a barback position and began mixing drinks. Eager to refine her natural talents and learn the craft from the bottom up, Vengroff sunk her teeth into the New York cocktail scene, working with some of the industry’s most respected leader, including Alex Day, Audrey Saunders, and Giuseppe Gonzalez. 

Vendgroff then headed to Los Angeles for her next set of challenges. She ran the bar program at Harvard & Stone and Proprietors LLC’s Honeycut and Chapter & Verse. Now, Vengroff oversees one of L.A.’s most prolific (and fun) cocktail programs at The Spare Room, as well as tiki-focused Genghis Cohen. Since landing in L.A., The Spare room has earned nods as Time Out Los Angeles’ 2016 “Bar of the Year” and a nomination for Tales of the Cocktail’s “Best American Hotel Bar.” Vengroff also won the 2012 national Speed Rack championship, was named “Fastest Hands in the West” in 2014, landed on Zagat’s 2015 “30 Under 30” list, and reached the finals of the 2017 Diageo World Class competition.