Shaking It Up: ARTini Proves to be Downtown Favorite

Shaking It Up: ARTini Proves to be Downtown Favorite

From left to right: Tim Trites (Cowboy Country Distilling Company), Mike Hulen, (Square State Brewing), Kaelah Deporto, (Bitter Creek Brewing) and Larry Hickerson (Square State Brewing). Not pictured: Mallory Pollock (Backwards Distillery Company)

ROCK SPRINGS– Over 200 people attended the second annual fundraising event, ARTini in Bank Court on Friday, August 23 in support of the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency and Sweetwater County Concert Association.

The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency continues to make improvements in the downtown area with ongoing donations. The Sweetwater County Concert Association is also a non-profit organization specializing in bringing live professional artistic performers and the best family entertainment value to residents in Sweetwater County.  

At first, the wind presented a big challenge to organizers and vendors of the event, but a fun time was had by all. ARTini was a celebration of culinary, musical, and visual art. The evening also featured raffles. Revenue from the event increased by 39% from last year.

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Chef Leah Martinez-Lassise from Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County surprised taste buds with these heavy hors d’oeuvres: 

  • Homemade Cashew Butter-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon 
  • Bourbon Meatballs 
  • Jalapeno Pops 
  • Grilled Mojito Shrimp 
  • Peach Mint Caprese 
  • Fruit Tower 
  • Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip 
  • Creamy Vanilla Fruit Dip 

Music was provided by Affirmation. 

Fun was had by all who attended the 2019 ARTini on Friday, August 23.

Local and statewide mixologists created their unique martinis while competing for four coveted titles. The following are this year’s winners:

  • Local’s Choice: Square State Brewing – “The Beers Knees” (Mike Hulen) 
  • Most M’artisinal: Backwards Distillery – “The Freakshow” (Mallory Pollock) 
  • Judges’ Choice: Cowboy Country Distilling Company – “Lime Drop Basil Martini” 
  • Peoples’ Choice: Bitter Creek Brewing – “The Wonderful World of Disney” (Kaelah Deporto) 

“It’s an incredible feeling having such a strong community,” Mike Hulen, Owner of Square State Brewing expressed. “We couldn’t be prouder of earning Local’s Choice.” 

Mallory Pollock from Backwards Distillery Company pours “The Freak Show” for unsuspecting attendees. She won M’ost Martisinal Martini at the 2019 ARTini.

Participants in the “martini vendor line” included: 

  • Joe’s Liquor & Bar: Amy Rasdall 
  • Joe’s Liquor & Bar: Kate Laney 
  • Sidekicks Book and Wine Bar: Katie Kumer 
  • Sapporo’s: Angela Chen 
  • Sapporo’s: Brooke Richardson 
  • Talitha Blatter 
  • Sweetwater County Concert Association: Tara Tripp 
  • Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Peggy O’Brien 
  • Rock Springs Main Street/URA: Trina Brittain 

Donated items for the live and silent auctions included a Christmas Light Décor Package, a get-a-way to Jackson, a one-night stay at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort and many more.  

Sponsors for the event included:  

  • Rocky Mountain Power 
  • Simplot 
  • Joe’s Liquor & Bar 
  • City of Rock Springs
  • Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County 
  • Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Services 
  • Genesis Alkali 
  • Commerce Bank 
The Spicy Bloody Mary Martini by Amy Rasdall, representative for Joe’s Liquor & Bar surprised taste buds at the second annual ARTini in Bank Court.

Of course, an event can’t be successful without volunteers. 

“As always, we’d like to give our volunteers a huge shout-out. They really saved this event,” Marketing Events Coordinator Trina Brittain said. “Some came at a moment’s notice and we really appreciate it.”  

The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency is charged with the redevelopment of Downtown Rock Springs. As part of their mission, there are three standing committees – Business Development, Promotions and Arts and Culture. For more information on the program, contact the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency at 352-1434 or visit their website,