Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rockit's Top Mixologist Moves On . . .

drumBAR's Benjamin Newby.

Let's just say he's going back to his roots.

Underground head mixologist and operator Benjamin Newby is more of a cocktail lounge specialist than nightlife impresario, so it's no surprise he leapt at the chance to become vice president of nightlife for Menin Hotels—which owns the forthcoming drumBAR.

But have no fear, he's not going totally corporate. Newby's infamous "cocktail kits," or "tableside mixology" that created more of a communal mixology experience at UG (as well as other Rockit Ranch Productions venues), will live on at drumBAR when the ultra-sexy lounge opens on the Raffaello Hotel's rooftop in June. And on those nights when the outdoor terrace isn't so favorable, the indoor "speakeasy-style" lounge includes a fireplace, sweeping bars and sky-high ceilings.

Newby will oversee all operations for drumBAR as well as a second location opening in South Beach's Gale Hotel in December. Miami-based Menin Hotels is the group behind the Raffaello Hotel in Chicago, and Miami hotels Shelborne, Sanctuary, Bentley and Gale.

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