Chef Jr Rena
Chef Jr Rena
Beverage Director Dirty Habit DCWashington, DC
I resist everything, except temptation.Oscar Wilde
Aniceto “JR” Rena, a native of NoVa, brings more than 15 years ofhospitality experience to his role as beverage manager at Dirty Habit.
Rena got his start in the industry as a host, but he quickly fellin love with the system. He worked his way up from host toserver and eventually made his way behind the bar. Afterfinishing college, Rena continued to pursue his passion forthe hospitality industry, securing positions at various notableF&B outlets, like Jose Andres’ Jaleo, a recipient of MichelinGuide’s Bib Gourmand Award. Later he joined the Mexican Hospitality team and moved to New York to start working in Cosme Kitchen and Bar. It was here where he began to refine his knowledge of Mexican flavors and culinary traditions. During his time with Mexican Hospitality, he also spent time in Mexico City at the famous Pujol, which consistently ranks in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as well as the agave-centric restaurant and bar Ticuchi, working along side mentor and role model Yana Volfson. Rena was also on the opening team of Eat Good Food Group’s Kaliwain DC in 2017, which earned a Bib Gourmand Award that same year. Most recently, Rena was beverage director at Foreign National concept development group in DC,where he developed menus and led the management teams across all their restaurants.
Now at Dirty Habit, Rena applies his love and knowledge of high quality ingredients and international flavors to create unique, well balanced drink offerings that align with theunapologetic, unpredictable, and unpretentious nature of the restaurant. As a minimalist, his approach to Dirty Habit’s bar program is to step outside of the box and create a fun,relatable and modern cocktail list. Having some background in the kitchen, he prioritizes seasonality and prepares everything from scratch.
When he’s not behind the bar, you can find Rena hiking in nature, taking a trip to a remotedestination or sipping on some mezcal.