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Kiss My Glass: ‘It always sucked me back in’

Randy Elskamp

Randy Elskamp.

Despite attempts to escape the bar industry, Randy Elskamp spends his time working at North Park’s Cantina Mayahuel and as a brand ambassador for Ilegal Mezcal.

Mum’s the word when it comes to talking about North Park’s Cantina Mayahuel — at least according to those members in the know in the Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego.

In fact, member of group, which boasts more than 14,250 people, refer to the restaurant and tequila bar in Pig Latin as Shmantina Shmayahuel or the name that shall not be mentioned. The reason? The members don’t want it to become too popluar — and bartender Randy Elskamp agreed, jokingly (sort of).

“Don’t go there. Stay away. Especially if I’m there, ‘cause I’ll kick you right out,” Elskamp joked at the end of a recent recording of PACIFIC’s Kiss My Glass podcast, which is done in collaboration with EDSD’s founder Edwin Real.

Elskamp has been around the bar industry since he was a kid when his mom tended bar in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Despite many attempts to escape the industry, he said “It always sucked me back in.”

Ilegal Mezcal

Ilegal Mezcal.

Now, in addition to tending bar at Cantina Mayahuel, he’s also a brand ambassador for Ilegal Mezcal (with a tag line of “Old enough to know better, young enough to do it again,” it seems a fitting brand for Elskamp to be a part of).

In this episode of Kiss My Glass, Elskamp brought a full spectrum of comedic relief and sarcasm relating to the following:

  • Getting into the restaurant industry
  • Being from Jersey
  • Getting into agave life
  • Continuing inside joke of Shmantina Shmayahuel
  • Bad tequila experiences
  • Starting with Ilegal Mezcal three years ago
  • Being married to someone else in the industry
  • How has North Park changed?
  • Giving props to other business for what they do best
  • Mezcal rising in coastal areas, nitty-gritty middle American late to the game
  • Where do you drink?
  • Everybody’s palate is different
  • People are becoming liquor geeks
  • Foods other than Mexican that pair well with mezcal
  • Where do we go next in mezcal world?
  • Celebrity spirits

Kiss My Glass is a collaboration between PACIFIC and Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego. The podcast is hosted on the U-T Podcast Network.

Subscribe to Kiss My Glass and sister podcast Dish It Up wherever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

Keep up

Cantina Mayahuel: 2934 Adams Ave., North Park, 619.283.6291, facebook.com/cantinamayahuel

Illegal Mezcal: ilegalmezcal.com@ilegalmezcal (Instagram)

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