All Keith LaBonte’s cocktails were topped off with an extra dollop of delight because of LaBonte himself. The madcap mixologist, who died Nov. 18 at his home in Dallas, was a charming, glad-handing ambassador of good times, relentlessly energetic and aspiring.
Labont made a heroic go of Four Lounge, a tiny, attractive lounge tucked into a cramped nook of the State-Thomas neighborhood, and developed the initial cocktail list for Pepper Smash in Plano, TX. While some cocktail purists may not have appreciated some of his concoctions, such as the Captain Crunch martini, cookie-dough banana-split martini and cotton-candy mojito, Labonte’s customers loved them.
The unconventional barman was featured prominently in a Dallas scene feature in the November/December 2012 issue of Cheers. The piece, authored by Jerry Bokamper (“Mr. Dallas”), highlighted some of the bar stars and operator in anticipation of the Cheers Beverage conference making its debut there Feb. 12-13. To read Mr. Dallas’ tribute to Keith LaBonte, visit this article in the Dallas Morning News.