Partner / Director of Culinary Mixology
Frankie Thaheld started his bartending career as a soda jerk at Ruby’s Metro Diner in Fullerton, CA, in 1989. Working with his hands and creating novel experiences for his guests was immediately a drawing factor for him into the industry. He also sang in locally applauded band, Campaign For Quiet, for 6 years with a constant touring schedule and became comfortable on stage in front of large audiences. Adding to this, he spent 11 years with California Pizza Kitchen as a bartender and corporate bar-trainer traveling the globe opening new locations. Stage fright and entertaining were never an issue. He left in 2006 and joined forces with chef Trey Foshee at George’s At The Cove in La Jolla, CA. Together, they were inspired to create a new bar atmosphere with a focus on culinary craft bartending which became the acclaimed California Modern Bar.
Frankie spent the next seven years forging his craft and researching spirit history and culture. Experimenting with herbal infusions and non traditional cocktail recipes, he found his niche and true calling. A trip to New York’s underground “speak-easy” bar scene in 2008 further ignited the creative spark and led Frankie to expand his horizons. In early 2009, he helped the neighborhood bar and restaurant, Alchemy, in San Diego, CA, open it’s doors with a focus on the craft cocktails he’d become known for. He hosted “Silent Sundays” there, for two years, as an ode to the days of prohibition and the silent film era.
Expanding his resume in 2010, Frankie got together with successful restaurant owner, Joe Rice, to consult on the the craft cocktail program at the upscale Ignight Restaurant and Bar, in Jackson Hole, WY. Frankie also aided in the revamping of a cocktail program at the infamous and historical Hotel La Valencia in La Jolla, CA. He has added Farmhouse Cafe, Pizza Nova and the Museum Of Photgraphic Art to his evergrowing consulting resume, and in 2010 became the ambassador to California for Piscología pisco including a trip to Lima, Peru to work for a pisco launch event. A new era began in 2012 when Frankie joined up with Snake Oil Cocktail Company veteran, Michael Esposito, as a consultant to responsibly bring their trade to the masses. A consultation in Bogotá, Colombia really showed this duo what they were capable of and the future potential of a growing brand. 2014 saw Frankie becoming a partner in Snake Oil Cocktail Company and gearing up to expand the thriving business into new markets.
In 2013, Frankie received mention as one of the top twenty bartenders in San Diego for San Diego Magazine. The media has supported him with accolades and reviews in several magazines and websites including Tasting Panel, Food & Wine, Esquire, Chilled, Nation’s Restaurant News, Riviera, San Diego Magazine, Edible San Diego, and Where. He has also done numerous spots on morning television shows and created cocktails for unique social and arts events.