Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who's Your Favorite Bartender?!

Head Bartender Mike Ryan of Kimpton's Sable Kitchen & Bar. (Photo: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants)

Not certain where you'll be drinking this weekend?!

I conducted an informal Twitter poll, asking folks who they prefer to visit behind the bar when they're in the mood for a Manhattan or shot of Maker's.

Here's what I got:

"Mike Ryan (Sable Kitchen & Bar), Brad Bolt (Bar DeVille) because they're craftsmen."

"Ben Schiller (Boka Restaurant Group), because he creates independently from liquor companies and Josh Pearson (Sepia) because he is charming."

"Johnny Costello (Tiny Lounge for years, now at GT Fish & Oyster). He has a wicked combo of craftsmanship and incredible charm. It's rare!"

"I love the creativity and classic technique of Charles Joly of The Drawing Room. Stellar cocktails."

"Kyle Davidson. At Publican now. But was at The Violet Hour for a while. Knows his stuff, friendly, funny and won't force things on you."

"Ben Schiller. He actually listens to his guests and makes drinks to their taste. And his knowledge is vast!"

"Stephen Cole from Violet Hour. Never had a bad drink, makes me love liquors I hate, down to earth and always has made me feel at home."

Agree? Disagree? So who is your favorite guy or gal behind the stick?!


S said...

This is great! I'll have to look out for these bartenders. My personal favorite is Benjamin from Hubbard Inn. He turned a dull evening to a great time. ...

Unknown said...

Mike Ryan and Charles Joly. Best Old Fashion's - a simple drink really, but sometimes simple is the most difficult!

Anonymous said...

Freddie Sarkis at Sable Kitchen & Bar because he is funny and makes good drinks too there.

S Lloyd said...

Just stumbled upon your blog while searchin for infos about the nightlife in Chicago. Great blog, btw! My question: what are the top 3 most fun, entertaining night clubs out there?

PS: If you pass by in Montreal, let me know: I will more than happy to invite you for a drink and share about Both Chicago's and Montreal's restaurant and nightlife too.

312 Dining Diva said...

All: All those bartenders are fantastic, and I see that we all have similar tastes in venues and cocktails.

@S Lloyd: Thanks so much for the props there. To answer your question, I don't think Chicago's much of a dance club city anymore, especially when it comes to the megaclub. The entire bottle service trend killed that, sadly. People don't go out to dance anymore. They go out and "pose."

It's about the smaller, more intimate cocktail-focused spots now, like some of the venues people have listed here in the comments as well as in the story.

Bring ON the creative cocktails, and make your OWN fun! ;)

Sean Abernathy said...


Thanks for including my tweet in your post! Too cool!