David Strauss — the man behind the bar.


David Strauss is Washington DC's premiere cocktail master. He is the head bartender and program director at The Sheppard and the upcoming Morris American Bar.

Previously, david has managed the bar at the original Founding Farmers location before taking a head bartender position at minibar/barmini by Jose Andres. Most recently, David was the beverage manager for Le Diplomate, Stephen Starr's French bistro in Logan Circle, a restaurant that boasts record sales for it's company and houses a beverage program worth $6 million annually. The seasonal menu and beverage program David created for Le Diplomate was featured in multiple national publications and was later nominated for a Rammy.

David got his start in Philadelphia’s Ranstead Room as head bartender. This was a collaboration between restauranteur Stephen Starr and cocktail giant Sasha Petraske. It was at this time that David was introduced to and personally trained by Sasha and then spent the next 3 years working closely with him, perfecting the art of preparing and cutting the best ice, making the best juices, and the art of building drinks in rounds – a long-gone talent and secret of the best bartenders in the world.


Through these experiences David's work has appeared on NPR, in Flavor, The Menu Magazine, and an original cocktail of his was served at a James Beard Dinner accompanying chef Robert Aiken's offerings from The Dandelion. In 2012 and 2013, David participated in the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, a national event for bartenders started by Sasha Petraske.

As well as heading up the Ranstead Room, David also became the first private beverage consultant for Starr Restaurants, consulting on and designing menus for Buddakan in Philadelphia & Atlantic city, Stella Pizza, Jones, Il Pittore, The Dandelion, The Continental, and Talula's Garden. He’s also consulted on private restaurants Pure Fare and The Office.