Mixologist Kelley Swenson of June - Biography

Portland, OR

August 2011

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Kelley Swenson is an alumnus of Lewis & Clark College in Portland with a degree in history, and is also an erstwhile performing musician. After college he spent time in Seattle, where he learned about tending bar from dedicated culinary professionals like Kevin Warren, Jason Deviney and Avel Squaglia, who each guided and encouraged him as a young bartender.

After years of learning the ins and outs of hospitality and artisan spirits, Swenson relocated back to Portland in 2001. In 2006, Swenson joined the opening team at Ten 01 to work side by side Sommelier Erica Landon and Restaurateur Adam Berger to create one of Portland’s top food and drink destinations. In 2010, he made the move to June, whose re-purposed space and purposeful menu align nicely with Swenson's evocative, quirky and delicious cocktails.

Swenson has tended bar on both coasts for local and national trade shows, orchestrated bar service for the International Association of Culinary Professionals city reception in Portland, and continues to work in close contact with domestic and international producers of well-crafted spirits. He has received “Best Bartender” accolades from Portland Monthly, Willamette Week, The Oregonian, and Portland Food & Drink. His recipes and other contributions can be found in publications including Imbibe Magazine, Details Magazine, Northwest Palate, Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, and Left Coast Libations.