Axel Ballesteros: bringing ease to bartending, celebrating his U.S. citizenship

Wed. May 10, 2017 10:35 AM by Ross Forman

axel ballesteros

photo credit // axel ballesteros
Axel Ballesteros recalls the first time he went to a club: the Fort Lauderdale venue was filled with "vibrant energy and (memorable) interactions between the staff and its patrons." He was instantly hooked on the atmosphere: "I knew immediately that was something I wanted to do."

Now 30, Ballesteros has worked in several clubs in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. "I have been fortunate to learn best practices (at) all of those places and (am now) taking that knowledge with me on to the next job, which has made a very positive difference."

Ballesteros is the Managing Partner at Axelband Accessories LLC – a company that is looking to make a huge impact on the bar business and beyond. 

Two years ago, Ballesteros launched Axelband Magnetic Bar Gear – with all of his fellow bartenders in mind. After all, Axelband Accessories was established to create the ultimate, most convenient products and accessories for food and beverage industry personnel.

Axelband Magnetic Bar Gear answers many issues that bartenders endure, such as losing or misplacing pens, wine keys, and bottle openers; not having a flashlight readily available; having to wear sweatbands with a bottle opener underneath while scraping their arms for quick access; and even ripping the back pockets of pants due to constantly inserting bottle opener to hold it near for convenience. 

Axelband Accessories brings the answers with accessibility, speed and convenience.

The company's flagship product is, The Axelband Armband Edition, which was three years in development to perfect its quality and aesthetic factors.

"It is a simple, attractive, fun and highly functional tool that makes a bartender's life easier by providing convenience, speed, and quick access to our most essential tools," Ballesteros said.

So what's the catch with The Axelband Armband Edition?

The magnets, he explained.

Ballesteros is looking to push the product nationally, certainly into Chicago's Boystown neighborhood bars, not just throughout South Florida.

"We are aiming to extend our reach to a national level by the end of the fiscal year, and extend that reach beyond in 2018, while developing new, unique, and original devices to be added to our line of magnetic bar gear," he said. 

The Axelband Armband Edition ($49.99) is available online at,

"We're proud to be a product created by bartenders and bar staff," Ballesteros said. 

Originally from El Salvador, Ballesteros moved to the U.S. when he was 17, attending high school in Oakland Park, Fla. He then went to Broward College in South Florida, and has earned two associate degrees, one in science and one in business/entrepreneurship.

He became a U.S. citizen this past January, culminating a five-year process, and eight-months from beginning to end after submitting his application for citizenship.

"It was a very emotional day," becoming a U.S. citizen, Ballesteros said. "I have been living in the U.S. since I was a teenager, and have spent half my life in this great country. I felt immensely proud, happy, and fulfilled when I had the honor to pledge alliance to the country that has truly become home in every sense of the word. I am looking forward to upholding the values and character of a good American citizen."

At The Bar With Axel Ballesteros...

Personal Drink-of-choice: Stoli O and soda water

Favorite Drink To Make For Customers: "I love making vodka cranberries. I don't have a signature drink, but I have fun concocting strange shots for my brave friends and customers who dare drink them with me."

Favorite Dessert: Tres leches

Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones

Favorite Band: Maroon 5

First Concert Attended: Britney Spears' "Live in Miami" Showtime special

(Complete the sentence): Many will be surprised to know that I ... "am a very shy person."

Favorite Bartending Story: "Whenever I get to unexpectedly meet people I have always looked up to, and they just show up at my bar."

Fancy Footwork, Showing Skin: Ballesteros was among the scantily-clad dancers at Miami Beach Gay Pride in April, alongside singer Kym Sims. It was "an amazing opportunity, a fun experience," he said.

Keys To Maintaining A Sculpted Body: "A healthy diet is the most important long-term secret to staying in shape. As long as there is a healthy balanced workout routine and good eating habits, there is no need for food deprivation or extreme measures to maintain a sculpted physique."

Personal Food Weakness: Krispy Kreme doughnuts