So tonight's opening night at 50 Plates. Its supposed to be a soft opening, but we are in todays paper, so my best guess is that we might get crushed. I'm looking forward to being back behind the bar, crafting drinks, having fun and serving our guests. Its what I really love to do. Some people are born to be artists or astronauts or supreme court justices. Me? I'm a bartender. I do it because I love it, I love the crowds, the drinks, the challenges, almost all aspects of being behind the bar. I'm nothing more, nothing less. I'm just a bartender.
Having some time off has made me a better bartender, and there are so many people to thank for this. I don't have time to embed hyperlinks or make this too fancy, so I'll just name names. Kevin Ludwig, Jeff Morgenthaler, Daniel Shoemaker, David Shenaut and the rest of the OBG board have been an incredible help and inspiration. Watching the best of the best has been eye opening to say the least. Grand Marnier deserves thanks (and Steve Olsen & crew too) for letting me go to the Mixology Summit. I would have never met brilliant minds like Jimmy Patrick, Doug Miller, or Camper English without that opportunity. Imibe Magazine, Karen Foley, Siobhan Crosby and Shoshanna Cohen are also people that I owe a debt of gratitude to, Imbibe is the only magazine that I read cover to cover the moment that I receive it and having the chance to write for them was a real dream come true. I owe Meriwethers Restaurant a big thanks for the opportunity to work with Tommy Habetz, one of the finest chefs anywhere. Of course, 50 Plates and Beaker & Flask deserve thanks too. And all of the fine folks who attend or support the OBG have all been instrumental in making me a better bartender. Now that I'm back behind the bar on a regular basis, I hope to keep the creativity up and my blogging current. Matt Mount and the gang at House Spirits have been incredibly supportive, thanks guys (more than you know probably). Angostura, MySpeedRail.com and Chip McComb have also been just incredibly wonderful to me. Jason Moore from Bacardi Brands, the list could go on and on. At the end of the day though, the person that I really should thank for the love, support and opportunities that I have experienced is my far better half, Raena.
I'm about 2 hours away from opening a wonderful restaurant and right now, sitting here at my computer, I feel awfully lucky to have had so many opportunities and so much support. Thank you all, and if I've missed anyone, know that it is unintentional. I'm humbled by the generosity so many of you have shown me. Thanks.