Master mixologist Leann Berry bids farewell to Komali


Stop by Komali, 4152 Cole Ave., on Nov. 11, for Leann Berry’s final night behind the bar.


The career of a bartender is an itinerant one. Bars and restaurants come and go, but if you know how to mix a killer drink, you can write your own ticket.

Ask anyone in Dallas who can shake, stir and mix a drink with the best, and without question the name Leann Berry comes up. Where she pours, she reigns: She’s manned the bar at sadly shuttered The Bronx and Ciudad, then at Salum and, for more than five years, at Komali, the

Uptown modern Mexican restaurant that’s been a popular watering hole since it opened. Where Berry goes, serious cocktail aficionados follow.
So when she texted me last week with the mysterious missive, “We need to talk immediately,” I suspected what was coming. Berry has decided to move on.

“It was time,” she says with a hint of melancholy. She’s fond on John Broady and Emanuel Salinas, who bought Komali from original chef-owner Abraham Salum late last year; the parting is amicable. But she’s itching for something different.

It’s not like she doesn’t have options. There have been offers and feelers sent to her since word leaked. But Berry is thinking about waiting until the new year to make any big decisions — she’s focused on doing a few private gigs (“I always have to turn those down because I’m too busy during the holidays!”) and fielding her options.

And you haven’t seen the last of her yet. Her last night at Komali will be Friday, Nov. 11. Everyone is invited to toast her departure. Heck, she might even make a special drink for the occasion.            ­­­­

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2016.