Today we’d like to introduce you to Saeed “Hawk” House.
Saeed, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born in Hawthorne, raised in San Diego. But It all started when I moved up to the Bay Area for college. I went to E’xpression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville (now SAE) and got my bachelor’s degree in Audio Engineering. During college, I was working at Temple Nightclub in San Francisco as a club promoter. But as we all know, living in the Bay Area is and was expensive. So my girlfriend, Chelsey, connected me with her former co-worker and got me a job as a barback at Cantina (now Pacific Cocktail Haven). There I got to learn from some great barmen who I still consider my mentors today.
While I was working at Cantina, I had gotten promoted to be the Record Label Manager at Temple Nightclub for the record label Temple Music Group. There I got to mix and master EDM tracks, sign new artists, and work with some of the new and upcoming DJs at the time. Chelsey and I then moved to Oakland. Once I got the hang of barbacking at Cantina, I then moved on to Prizefighter in Emeryville.
There I learned even more about craft and classic cocktails — my time there as a barback was short as I then made a move down to LA with Chelsey. We had moved to LA for me to pursue a career in Artist Management or Record Label Management. So while looking for that job, I started working at Lucky Strike as a bartender. This bar was nothing like the bars I had worked at previously: no craft, just speed, and volume. There, I was fortunate to meet Rick Ferrari who wanted to represent me and sign me to LA Talent.
Being the naive person I was, I jumped at the opportunity and did what everyone does when they move to LA, and that has become a model. I had done some print and background work, for music videos, commercials, and movies. Life was great, but after two years of modeling, I figured I wasn’t creatively satisfied with what I had been doing. It was clear at this point the whole music career wasn’t going to work out for me. So I wanted to get back to what really made me happy, and that was creating craft cocktails. Thus Cocktails By Hawk was born.
While starting this new Instagram page or persona, I had only worked a couple of bars. So over the course of the next couple years, I had bartended at Mrs. Fish, Nighthawk, Now Boarding, The Boardroom, Perch, Mother’s Auxiliary, and finally Ever Bar at The Kimpton Everly Hotel not only that I had also entered myself in some mixology competitions.
While I was working on my street cred and getting my name out there in the bartender community, I had bought myself a camera and started taking photos of cocktails and doing how-to videos at home. Since I genuinely love to cook, I found out that I love to mix a great cocktail even more. So why not make money doing what I love.
After I had done some features with the Tipsy Bartender and other Cocktail pages, my Instagram page took off. This was the moment I finally figured what I wanted to do with my life and that was to take what I do behind the bar to TV and host my own cocktail creation show on the Food Network. Look out 2019! There’s a new mohawk on the scene, and he’s about to make you a great cocktail!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is any road smooth? No its not! OF course, there were sometimes when I was struggling. But I overcame those struggles by working hard into the wee hours of the night.
There were times where I would shoot my content in the morning, work an eight hour bartend shift at night, then come home and edit the footage until 4 or 5 am. It was the hustle.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I specialize in cocktail creation and consultation for brands and bars. I work directly with brands who need help promoting their products. I am most proud of how far I have come as a bartender.
I’m also proud of the relationships I have built over the years with these liquor brands
What sets me apart from other bartenders is that I try to make drinks that can be easily created at home. Sometimes I get into the super mixology side. But I try to aim for easy recreate-able cocktails that you can make at home.
- Website: www.cocktailsbyhawk.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocktailsbyhawk/