This is Ron Evans.
Ron is 47 years old and grew up in the Abbotsford Valley and in Chilliwack, near Vancouver. He studied in Victoria, where he did his major in history and his minor in French. Since learning a language in school can be quite challenging, one day he saw a sheet hung on the wall of its classroom about the possibility to do a stage in Quebec to learn French. He decided to do it and never came back. Ron has been living in Chicoutimi for 18 years now.
Ron was pretty much the first one to serve a proper cocktail in Chicoutimi. Like he reminds us, back in the days, the only cocktails you could get there were a cosmo with barmix and crap bar gun cranberry juice, maybe an extremely sweet barmix margarita at a few places or a shit martini which you wouldn’t want to drink anyway. Given the fact that Ron has a history and teaching background, the question arose in our minds quite fast: how the hell did he get into craft cocktails?
The story goes as follow. Ron was managing a coop café called Café Cambio. One day, the coop decided to rent the downstairs space to create a bar that would host music events: Le sous-bois. There was no one to manage the new space so Ron offered himself. And he got into craft cocktails instantly. Being naturally curious, extremely perfectionist and passionate about history, he started to read about cocktails. He bought himself The Craft of the Cocktails by Dale Degroff and started to make his own syrups, lemon and lime juices, etc. At the same time, he read about classic cocktails and started to serve cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan, the Vieux-Carré, and so on. No need to say that there was a lot of people that were keen to enjoy simultaneously a proper Old Fashioned and a Punk show.
Ron kept on reading and would discover the classics with his guest. He would ask what people liked and try one of the new cocktails he read about. With time, he became very knowledgeable, changed the drinking habits of his customers and progressively became the reference for cocktails. He has done a lot of consulting for bars and restaurants in the city. He was the one that built the cocktail program at Gros Luxe Chicoutimi. And over the years, he has trained many bartenders who discovered a passion for craft cocktails and keep the flame going in their town.
Today, Ron the bartender has stepped away from the bar to become Mr. Ron, a fifth-grade primary school teacher. He tells us that we would be surprised of how much resemblance there is between a drunken 3am customer and an angry 9 years old. Regardless of where the future will bring him, he will remain the one that brought the Old Fashioned to Chicoutimi and we feel super lucky to have had the chance to meet him!
A little bit more about Ron…
The three words that describe him best: perfectionist – iconoclast – introspective
One thing he has achieved on his life bucket-list: He rode his bicycle across Canada.
The first cocktail he ever loved: Moscow Mule
What he loves most about bartending: The tradition. It’s really what sparked his passion for it. He would project the history line of bartending and would picture himself being in the same waters than the great bartenders of past times.
What he likes least about bartending: Assholes. The tendency of drunk people to be disagreeable. It makes you crusty over time.