Bar Team

With the help of two of LA’s most accomplished mixologists,
Billy Ray (Blind Barber / 13 Stiches) & Mark Grubb (Picca),
we’ve assembled a world class team of bartenders who are
passionate about crafting great libations in a friendly, neighborhood setting.
Forgoing the pomp and pretension that accompany many “mixology” bars,
the Proper aims to provide really good cocktails,
made with care and served with a smile.


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Angel Meza

  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Favorite Gins: Tanqueray Malacca, The Botonist, St. George Botanivore
  • Approach to Bartending: Cocktails with a Smile
  • Most important thing in Making A Great Cocktail: Presentation & Care.  Treat the cocktail as if you’re making it for yourself.
  • Best Cocktail He’s Created: Angel’s Kiss


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John  Peet

  • Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
  • Favorite Spirit: Whiskey was my first love, then we broke up for a little while but we are back on great terms.  While whiskey and I were on the outs I spent most of my senior year of college pouring tequila at an awesome tequila bar in Cincinnati.  Tequila and I really gave things a good run, but now that I am a little older I am thinking more and more that I could settle down with Gin for a bit before I retire and drink exclusively Scotch like my old man.
  •  Favorite Garnish: Fire – Flamed Zests are always great – Shaved cucumber is a pretty sexy garnish too though.


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Kristin Mercer

  • Nickname: Mittens
  • Hometown: Fresno, CA
  • Favorite Cocktail: The Devil’s Gate because it’s unique and fiery.  Kind of like me!
  • Favorite Gin: St. George Terrior because it’s from my home state and tastes like Christmas and summertime in a glass all at the same time. I also like Cream Gin from London. It is quite tasty, and I like to imagine myself drinking it where it originated – in the Victorian Gin Palaces on Drury Lane.
  • Biggest Bar Peeve: Just don’t ever snap your fingers at me and call me bar wench, and we’ll be just fine.


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 Tobias Jelinek

  • Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Favorite Cocktail: Mai Tai. I’ve been hooked ever since Trader Vic’s.
  • Favorite Gin: Now that I’m working at The Proper, with hundreds of gins, my favorite changes frequently. This week John Peet turned me on to Caprock; love it. Organic small batch distillery in Colorado offering a lot more than the signature “juniper forward” profile. Apple, Rose, Lavender. It’s a winner. Also, tasting Nolet’s Reserve is a rare treat I recently enjoyed. Saffron and Verbena linger for about 30 seconds after tasting– it’s a class act spirit.
  • Approach to Cocktailing: Look to the Classics. They are loved, famous, and timeless for a reason.


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Matt Bodenheimer

  • Nickname: Bodie
  • Hometown: Washington, DC
  • Favorite Gin: Nolet’s and Martin Miller… Very refreshing and floral.  Delicate and approachable.
  • Approach to Cocktailing: People go to bars for an experience. Not just a cocktail.
  • Biggest Bar Peeve:  “I hate gin.  I only like vodka.”