Sliding up to MB’s bar at Venga Venga, it becomes immediately apparent that this classic beauty “owns” the joint. Sure, this Mexican cantina with epic Snowmass views—to include killer, slope-side people watching—is proudly a Richard Sandoval Restaurant; but, while Mary Bess is on the clock her commanding presence is palpable. Messenger gets the feeling that she spotted us a mile away, and if we’d been regulars our favorite drinks would be waiting with nary a sweat on the glass!
An early walker, MB was born to move. With soccer as her grounding passion, MB easily adapted to nine different Houston schools before her mom, a Spanish teacher, landed a gig in KC and this tight-knit family of four settled into being midwesterners. College Journalism degree in hand, MB returned to Missouri putting her education to work in a marketing job beneath fluorescent office lights. Yikes, right!?!
Doing some quick research to re-navigate her path , MB took her huge heart and even bigger smile to South America: first to teach in Ecuador, and then off to Brazil—chasing World Cup excitement. Temporarily exhausting her wanderlust while climbing Machu Picchu, MB returned to the states only to be invited by her then BFF, Ian, to climb Maroon Bells with him (and PS, please bring dad along, too!) This “one-way” trip to Aspen sealed the deal—MB is not only a Coloradan now, but Ian’s wife and the mother of their 19-month spitfire, Ellie!
Bartending at Venga Venga brings joy both MB and the clientele who seek out this low-key joint with relaxed yet impeccable service. Skilled in conversational Spanish allows MB to connect with her Latin American customers scratching her wanderlust itch. Also, being around people who are happy because of adrenaline and endorphins, is infectious and only fuels her family shared goals of seeing the world. After all, Miss Ellie is literally following in her mother’s footsteps by walking at 9 mos., and she is learning to ski on third generation-skis passed down through Gwyn’s (yes, that Gwyn) Snowmass family! As if Venga Venga, being a mama, driving to Edwards on Thursday nights to play soccer, and being a wife weren’t enough…MB picked up another gig bartending at Gwyn’s! Before you go grab a cold one from her after a long day skiing we thought it would be nice to give you a little fodder for conversation.