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Beloved Stillwater Bartender Has Died

Efrain Santiago of Lolito was 47 years old

Efrain Santiago serving a cocktail with a big mint garnish behind the bar of Lolito
Efrain Santiago was 47 years old
Efrain Santiago/Facebook

Efrain Santiago, best known as “Ef,” died this past weekend. He was 47 years old. A longtime bartender, he was a warm presence behind the bar at Stillwater’s Lolito, and before that, at the same address, Pearl & the Thief.

Santiago was known not only for his incredible drink mixing skills, but convivial personality making any night spent sitting on a stool in front of him memorable. Before tending bar in Stillwater, he could be found at Washington Square in White Bear Lake, where he was recognized by White Bear Lake Magazine as Best Bartender in 2015.

A Milwaukee native, he was a proud resident of White Bear Lake, appearing in several area publications touting its small town charms. In addition to bartending, he was an avid traveler, loved kayaking, enjoyed great food, and music.

He is survived by his son Odin, Odin’s mother, Deanna Wyman; mother, Gloria Negron; sister Marilina Santiago; grandmother Dolores Negron as well as countless friends and industry family.

In accordance with his wishes, there will be no formal funeral. Instead, his family is hosting a “big-ass” party this Wednesday to celebrate his life.

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or needs to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.