I first met Anne Hepburn through her work as a Krug Park bartender. I could immediately tell Anne was a woman I would like to get to know. Anne struck me as a truly genuine woman. And the more I got to know her, the more right I was.
This past summer I joined Anne in her backyard to enjoy a mason jar of red wine and a great chat about her personal style, her passions, and her thoughts on today’s cocktails.
Tell us about your background.
I guess I have never had any aspirations for a career, per se. When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist or a marine biologist, but those were always just interests for me. I have always just done what feels right at the time.
I love music, so for a while I was booking bands, working at a record store. I like socializing, so I bartended.
I went to college initially because it was what was expected of me. It took me 10 years to finish my undergrad in English and art history at UNO. After that, I wanted to explore a bit, so I moved to Portland, Oregon, having never even visited before. I sold everything I owned and just did it. I got a job at a bookstore because I felt it was the easiest way to meet people who had similar interests as me. Some of my best friends to this day came from that job, so it was a good decision.
I then decided that I should go back to school, so I got my master’s degree in library science. I worked for a while as a librarian at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. I loved the people, but I eventually sort of lost interest in my work, and my passion never matched those working around me. Libraries are incredibly underfunded and under-appreciated, and I despised the need to constantly justify our existence to the guys doling out money.
I decided to come back home. I worked odd jobs, but was mainly at Slowdown, bartending. I then got the job at Krug Park when it opened in 2011. I truly enjoy my work there. It never gets monotonous, every day is different, and I get to be creative.
The favorite part of your job?
Creating cocktails. It’s part art, part science, and part history. I love researching old classic cocktails and methods and putting a modern touch on them. I also love incorporating whatever is fresh and in-season. Mostly, I just end up making drinks that I would personally drink, if I was going to order something that day.
I think about what the weather is like outside, what’s going on in the world, and concoct something on the fly based on that. My main philosophy, (if you can put one to booze) is that a good cocktail doesn’t have to be fussy, or expensive. It should be accessible to anyone looking to try something new.
What about your hobbies?
In my spare time, I usually am at home, working on some project around the house. I’m really into cooking and baking, so I am in the kitchen a lot. I also had a gigantic garden this year, which is probably more garden than I can handle, but it’s such a therapeutic exercise for me.
I spend my time at work constantly moving, talking, engaging with people. In my spare time, I prefer silence: not TV, not even music usually. There are days that when my boyfriend comes home from work, I realize that I haven’t spoken a word to anyone all day. I take long walks with my dog, Walter. He’s sometimes the only one I talk to all day.
Describe your personal style.
I never really put a ton of effort into style. That sort of thing never really interested me that much. I will choose comfort over fashion every time. I guess I prefer simple and basic designs. A dress with boots is probably my favorite style. I love cardigans, I hate t-shirts. I’ve never found a pair of jeans that fit me the way I want them to fit. I don’t wear makeup, except for mascara, and occasionally eyeliner. I never even owned a hair dryer until I got bangs.
Finish this sentence: I am passionate about …
Living an authentic life. I speak my mind. I do what makes me happy. I love my boyfriend, Kelly. I love our dog, Walter. I am passionate about intelligence, learning, and about being true to yourself.
I see so many women being girls, instead of being the women they should be proud to be. I see it a lot in my job. For instance, that thing, where a woman orders a drink from me using some stupid Betty Boop-like voice. I just think “that’s not your voice! use YOUR voice! You’re probably a freaking lawyer and you’re talking like a child!” That baby-fication of women makes me pretty irate.
As an Atheist, I believe that I get this one shot. And I’m not going to waste my time doing things that bore me. I don’t believe in some Big Reward at the end. The reward is in a good martini, or a walk with Walter, or a summer day with no humidity, or a steak cooked perfectly medium rare.
All photos by Hooton Images.