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Dushan Zaric

Employees Only
Dushan Zaric is the cocktail mastermind behind world-famous New York bars Employees Only and Macao Trading Co. He is widely recognized as an industry leader and a pioneer in craft bartending; his innovative work behind the bar has revolutionized the art of the cocktail.

Dushan specializes in creating cocktails with a classic inspiration, and then updated with modern twists and extraordinary ingredients. His unforgettable drink programs are legendary, successful and beyond compare, while his lighthearted unpretentious approach to mixology is both refreshing and accessible.
As a co-founder of The American Bartending Institute of New York, Dushan is a seasoned and trusted mentor - he conducts staff trainings and workshops that are as powerful as his beverage programs. He is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of bartenders to both thoroughly understand and take pride in their craft. Dushan teaches at Bar Shows and Conferences all over the world, Germany, Russia, USA, UK, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Serbia, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, The Caribbean Islands are but some of the places where you can find Dushan teaching and mentoring on regular basis. In 2013 Dushan was named by Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com one of 50 most influential Taste makers for 2014.

In 2004, Dushan partnered up with his long time bartender friends – Jason Kosmas, Igor Hadzismajlovic, Henry LaFargue and Billy Gilroy to create and open up the Bar-Restaurant Employees Only, which is recognized as one of the best Cocktail Bars in the world. Awards include “Best Classic Cocktail 2005” (New York Magazine), “Best Signature Drinks 2006” (AOL Cityguide), “Best Cocktail Bar 2008” (New York Magazine), “World’s Best Drink List” and “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” (Tales Of The Cocktail 2011), and “Best Bar Team” and “Best High Volume Bar” (Tales Of The Cocktail 2015).

In November 2006, Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas published their first book titled “You Didn’t Hear It From Us” – Two bartenders serve women the truth about men, making an impression and getting what you want (Atria Books). The Book is an objective assessment of realities that go on in a Bar on any given night filled with interesting cocktail recipes, bar etiquette and observations.

In November 2008, together with his Partners, Dushan opened his second restaurant, Macao Trading Company, in TriBeCa, New York City. On 2 levels cocktails are served together with great Portugese-Chinese food prepared by the Chef David Waltuck the famous chef owner of Chantarelle, New York.

Dushan’s and Jason’s second book “Speakeasy – Classic Cocktails re-imagined by New York’s Employees Only Bar”, which features Employees Only Cocktails was published on October 12th, 2010 and has so far received numerous acclaims. Speakeasy was listed in the Top 10 Cookbooks for 2010 by NY magazine as well as by StarChefs.

Dushan is the co-founder of The 86 Co where he is in charge of product development and education. He developed the Cana Brava Rum with Master Distiller Don Pancho Fernandez, Tequila Cabeza with Master Distiller Sergio Vivanco & Aylesbury Duck Vodka. He was helping Simon Ford and Master Distiller Charles Maxwell in putting the finishing touches on the Fords Gin, which won the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge 2013 and the award for the Best New Product 2013 at Tales of the Cocktail 2013.

In 2014, Dushan was recognized for his commitment to inspire and teach others the craft of the cocktail when he was awarded Best Mentor at the biggest annual spirit conference -Tales of the Cocktail.

In 2015, Dushan was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top 50 tastemakers for that year.

As a Co-Founder of Employees Only, Dushan took part in setting up Employees Only Singapore (opened June, 2016), Employees Only Miami (opened February, 2017) and Employees Only Hong Kong (opened, May, 2017).

In April 2018, Dushan and his local partners opened Employees Only Los Angeles in West Hollywood, California and in September 2018 Dushan opened Employees Only Sidney, Australia, again in cooperation with local partners and investors. All the above licensing deals include Dushan to oversee the quality and execution of the bar, beverage and cocktail program.

In January 2018, as a part of Apicii and in the role of the beverage partner, Dushan opened Hotel Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles. A beautifully renovated historic hotel with revenues for F&B expected to be $10M plus annually.