Alexandra Shewmake was a beautiful woman whose personality matched the bright, fizzy cocktails she served at Miami's best bars.
The bartender, known for her piercing eyes and open heart, died this past Tuesday evening. She was 29.
Better Days' Will Thompson remembers Shewmake as a "bright spirit that was always looking out for other people." Thompson met Shewmake in 2011 at Hillstone. Years later, the young bartender went on to work for him at his Brickell bar. Thompson was shocked and saddened by the news, noting she had begun a new chapter in her life. "She had just moved into her place in Brickell and was looking forward to decorating it," he says. "She was just a baby."
Her husband, Christian Ogoro, describes Shewmake as a kind and good-hearted person who loved working in the hospitality industry. "It was her passion. She dreamed of owning her own place one day."
Ogoro says Shewmake always tried to help others and loved animals, especially dogs. "She treated her German Shepherd like a baby."
Shewmake was born into a military family and traveled around the country before finding a home in Miami as an adult. She worked at some of the city's top establishments, including the restaurant Hillstone and the bars Bitter Truth and Better Days. Two years ago, while working at Kiki on the River, Shewmake met Ogoro. They wed a year ago. Most recently, Shewmake was working special events for local event producer, Swarm, in Wynwood.
Ogoro has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral costs. So far, $2,900 has been raised of the $5,000 goal.
Ogoro says of his wife's untimely passing, "She's gone too soon. It shouldn't have happened. There were a bunch of people who loved her and were trying to help her."
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A date for a memorial has not yet been set.
Shewmake's passing, coincidentally, is noted the same weekend that Miami celebrates the life of one of the city's most revered bartenders, John Lermayer, who died in June 2018 at the age of 45. Several other notable people in Miami's hospitality community lost their lives this past year, including Richie Petronzi, Benjamin Carlotto, and Andrew Alessi.
Update: Tyler Shewmake and Joyce Flowers-Shewmake, parents of Alexandra, have been notified of their daughter's passing.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a National Helpline that is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. It can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.