top of page

The Branca Room: An elevated cocktail experience in the heart of Bishop Arts (Dallas).

Mar 15, 2023

We head down to Big D to sit down with James Slater, Ambassador of Panama Bar Mixology and founder of the Branca Room. We discuss, the backstory, the vision, community and most importantly the staff that makes it all possible.

HustleMania: James, really a pleasure for you to join us today, very excited to learn more about your journey. You have a lot of experience in the industry on many levels. Tell us, how and why was the Branca Room born?

James Slater: Thank you for having me and being able to share. To talk about The Branca Room we must go back in time, to a special visit from Edoardo Branca. a sixth-generation family member the Branca Family; as well as Vice President of Fernet-Branca. What started as an intimate dinner in Chimichurri with friends and family in Bishop Arts, turned into a dreaming session, about a potential only and first amaro bar in Dallas, Texas. An idea which Edoardo was stoked about and vested in from the beginning. With the help of Jesus Carmona, owner of Chimichurri, The Branca Room came into fruition one and a half years later.

HustleMania: That sounds like the perfect combination of tradition and innovation. Can you tell us about the process of creating Branca Room's homemade spirits and how they contribute to the unique cocktail experience at the bar? 

James Slater: The experience is as unique as what is in your cup, we source and develop ideas based on what we love and try to give every guest an insight into who we are; that is present in every drop-down to the format of said cocktails. With the inclusion of some familiar drinks, we give you an entry into a wild side which comes across and presented as a liquid art.

HustleMania: You are essientially creating art you can consume, amazing. How does Branca Room ensure that every customer has a personalized and enjoyable experience when trying their cocktails and spirits?

James Slater: The elaborate process of creating homemade tinctures, cordials, and liqueurs is what defines The Branca Room. We challenge ourselves, to create unique new flavors and combinations for the enjoyment of all our guest. Although, I’m sure some of the few earlier creations were atrocious; I am so thankful to see a lot of those faces who tried them comeback repeatedly.

HustleMania: With trying new things, there is a process and I'm sure those earlier creations were great. Changing gears a little bit and going off of what you said about guest enjoyment, can you speak to the role that the staff has played in the Branca Room?

James Slater: "If you want to move fast, go alone, if you want to go far, do it with company.” This phrase defines The Branca Room. The creation, development and execution of all our cocktails and service, has been done through the excellence of our bartenders. They have put a piece of them into what defines the The Branca Room as a whole.

HustleMania: We couldn't agree more, we champion the team environment. In what ways does Branca Room showcase the talent and expertise of its staff in creating unique and innovative cocktails? 

James Slater: As we begin the process all over again, in creating our new and second menu. I’ve spoted the same passion and commitment that lead to the creation of the first. From every garnish to selection of glassware, The Branca Room bar staff, have left it all for the sake of our guests’ enjoyment. Every ounce, every drop is methodically thought out; and for that I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have so a dedicated group of individuals that share my values and


HustleMania: They say practice makes perfect and from the look of the cocktails, we'd say you practice a lot. How does Branca Room give back to the community and support local organizations through its business operations and events?

James Slater: In just six months, we've made philanthropic advances as a brand. Hand in hand with our colleagues, we have thought of getting a barrel to fill it with donations from our guests, which will be used to help stop Trafficking in Persons with Minors. With the help of other Dallas bars and bartenders, we help donate gently used coats to help some of our homeless population stay warm this winter. Plus, with the help of, Dallas Bartenders and The Branca Room will continue to make an impact in our city and communities.

HustleMania: That is fantastic, we love to see community helping community on the ground level. It is where the most meaniful work is done. James, we really have enjoyed getting to know about you and the Branca Room. We thank you for being part of HustleMania not only for your interview but being community and employee minded. Congratulations on all your success so far and in the future. We encourage everyone to go check out and support the Branca Room! Meet the staff below!

Learn about the people behind the Branca Room:

James Slater, Founder of The Branca Room also Ambassador of Panama Bar Mixology Association. My goal is to show the passion and love for the industry and have that reflected in every person that I can meet, and every cocktail I serve. I serve to live and live to serve.

Geovanni Alafita, I am 28 years old and have been a bartender for a little over 8 years. In my spare time I enjoy skateboarding and working on small woodcraft projects. I enjoy learning and quickly realized that in this profession that is something that never stops. Being able to play with different flavors, spirits and culinary techniques that come from all over the world is something I never imagined I could do 10 years ago, but now I can't imagine doing anything else.

Lauren Wahlstrom. I love working at the Branca Room, it's a playground for waiters. While working here, I get my Amaro education and can explore and create. What I like the most about the Branca room is the experience we create for our guests. When I'm not behind the bar at The Branca Room, my partner and I are working at our own company, RAYO, the neighborhood cocktail bar we can't seem to find in Dallas and bringing back what I learned working in the Portland market... For more than 15 years. I'm also a full-time car nerd, I'm part of Car Krush, a brand of automotive education for women. We love cars and we make other people excited about them too. We have a podcast called Car Krush is Hotboxing that highlights women in the industry.

My name is Kamilah González; I am 24 years old. I am currently working at The Branca Room and Chimichurri Restaurant to develop my experience as a mixologist. I have been in the service industry for over 7 years. I enjoy making delicious cocktails and pleasing guests. Aside from being a bartender, I enjoy hiking and working on small fashion projects at home.

Itzel Madrigal, 27 years old. Registered nurse and cocktail waitress. Dog mom.

The Branca Room

324 W Seventh St

Dallas, TX

(469) 906-6098

bottom of page