Kevin Diedrich is the brains behind Pacific Cocktail Haven, one of San Francisco’s most popular drinking destinations, and also our 2016 Bartender of the Year. And while he definitely loves his job, especially the part where he gets to come up with creative new ideas for cocktails, he admits it can also be exhausting.
“In the industry, we’re always on. We’re always out in bars and restaurants and talking to people, so it can be hard to relax,” Diedrich says. When he and his wife can’t take it anymore and need to escape the chaos for a couple of days, they love to head up north to Portland, Oregon, where they find it’s easier to turn off.
“Portland has a more relaxed attitude and ambiance than San Francisco. It gives off this really cool vibe that’s a lot more chill and mellow, almost like going to Hawaii,” he says. “And it’s accessible. It’s a short flight, so it’s an easy weekend getaway. They not only have great food and great drinks, but the city is beautiful; you can go hiking and be in nature.”