The Cover

Before taking on the assignment for this month’s cover feature on the best bartenders in the biz (see “Top Shelf,” page 16), photographer James Bailey had only been to one of the six bars highlighted therein, 1022 South. So when he showed up, camera in hand, he had to take everything in very quickly in order to capture the essence of each bottle-flipping subject. Ben Williams of Masa, in particular, struck Bailey as a remarkable bartender. “He was a nice, caring guy,” Bailey recalls. “I just asked him to make me a drink that people request a lot.” So that’s just what Williams did for this month’s cover, making the photographer a margarita. Sadly, Bailey could not imbibe. “No way,” he says. “I had four more bars to shoot that day.”

Photograph by James Bailey for City Arts

See more in the February 2011 issue   →