UPDATED: High Profile Houston Bartender Leaves Sanctuari Within a Month of Opening

Competition-winning bartender Leslie Ross has made an abrupt departure from the brand-new Sanctuari bar at Triniti Restuarant
Competition-winning bartender Leslie Ross has made an abrupt departure from the brand-new Sanctuari bar at Triniti Restuarant
Photo by Phaedra Cook

Updated 11/26/14, 6:16 p.m.: Two industry insiders have independently contacted me, saying that Ross has left Sanctuari/Triniti to join Treadsack, the group behind Down House, D&T Drive Inn and the forthcoming restaurants Hunky Dory, Foreign Correspondents and the just-announced Bernadine's.

Additionally, information has been relayed to the Houston Press that Treadsack is also the entity leasing the space that was formerly The Boom Boom Room, which closed last Saturday. It is unclear whether the space will be used for the forthcoming Foreign Correspondents restaurant or a new, unannounced project. Caroline May, director of public relations for Treadsack, responded this afternoon to an emailed inquiry saying she is "unable to confirm anything at this time."

A reader tipped off the Houston Press that Leslie Ross, a high-profile bartender who co-headed the new Sanctuari Bar at Triniti, has left the bar mere weeks after its grand opening. The information has since been confirmed by an industry insider.

The sleek, sexy bar made food news at publications all over town after its debut on November 7. The buzz was in no small part thanks to Ross and her bartending partner Laurie Sheddan Harvey. Before working at Triniti, the duo worked on a contract, consulting basis as "Ladies of Libation." With Ross leaving and Harvey staying, it looks like this is the end of that work partnership for now.

Leslie Ross (right) has left Sanctuari Bar at Triniti Restaurant. Laurie Sheddan Harvey(left) has confirmed to Houston Press that she is staying.
Leslie Ross (right) has left Sanctuari Bar at Triniti Restaurant. Laurie Sheddan Harvey(left) has confirmed to Houston Press that she is staying.
Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

Ross worked at Saint Arnold Brewery before applying her training as a chemist towards making memorable cocktails. She earned a trip to New York after winning a local tequila cocktail competition sponsored by Don Julio. (I actually helped judge that competition. Her cocktail, "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire" was so sophisticated I was shocked to find she wasn't actually working at a cocktail bar yet.)

Ross would make cocktail news again after entering and being selected as one of the few finalists in the challenging national Bombay Sapphire Competition.

Ross and Sheddan seemed to have found a longterm home at Triniti, working behind the bar for the past year. Their contribution was so influential and successful that chef Ryan Hildebrand decided to turn the bar into an entity separate from, yet within, Triniti.

Triniti's public relations firm and Ross have not yet responded to requests for further information. We'll post an update when it's available.


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