November 13th, 2008

Bartenders on the move

Boston bartenders on the move

A reader named Daniel emailed me recently asking what I knew of recent “bartender movement” around Boston, including what has become of the crew at the B-Side. Timely question, Daniel, because Boston drink-slingers are engaged in a lively round of musical bars right now.

Let’s start with the crew at the B-Side, which, it turns out, will not be opening again under new ownership as I wrote earlier. The lounge on the corner of Hampshire and Windsor in Cambridge is officially in limbo. Sad. From what I’ve heard, among the principal bartenders left standing when the place closed, Dave Cagle is heading to Deep Ellum, Al Harding is at the new-and-improved Cafe Marliave (along with ex-B-Siders Jackie Ross and Christopher Duggan, who’s also occasionally at the Indo), Russ is at the Beehive, and Rob … I totally forget where Rob’s going (update forthcoming). While I’m on the subject, the B-Side’s swan song, last Sunday, was an evening of fun insanity, with customers doing their damnedest to drain the place of every last ounce of liquor, and most of the above B-Side alums — plus Joe McGuirk and Claudia Mastrobuono, both now at Highland Kitchen — stepping behind the bar to help out.

As for the other bars with personnel in flux … Misty Kalkofen is moving from Green Street to Drink. That means Drink will now boast a ridiculous roster of talent including Kalkofen, John Gertsen, Ben Sandrof and Josey Packard, among others. Meanwhile, as Daniel informed me, Green Street has lured Emily of Deep Ellum across the river. She joins Andy McNees (formerly of Bukowski and Eastern Standard) and Bice (formerly of B-Side, Deep Ellum, etc.). Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, who earned renown at Eastern Standard, is now boss of the bar at chef Tony Maws’ new place, Craigie on Main, which is scheduled to open this Friday.

I know I’m missing a few other significant moves, here. I’ll post updates when I get them, along with reviews of Boston’s new star bars Drink, Cafe Marliave and Craigie on Main. In the meantime, best of luck to all you ‘tenders in your new gigs.

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14 Responses to “Bartenders on the move”

  1. MC Slim JB

    I’m not sure of Rob’s full-time gig, but I believe he’s doing Mondays at the bar at Chez Henri.

  2. ljclark

    Ah, right! Thanks, MC.

  3. Eric S.

    Any idea what’s going on at the B-Side? Did the deal with Lanigan fall through…or is it (hopefully) just delayed? I read an earlier comment that the deal folded and the B-Side sold its liquor license, but am hoping that this is not the case.

  4. Dan S

    Craigie on Main opens for real on Friday the 14th. We went to the “soft opening” (dress rehearsal) last night and had a couple of great cocktails; the Northern Lights is particularly recommended. Cocktail menu here:

  5. ljclark

    Eric S., from what I know, the deal with Lanigan fell through, and it is entirely possible that the B-Side will no longer be a bar.

    Dan S., thanks for the update! And Tom himself just confirmed that Friday is opening night. Can’t wait to check it out.

  6. Ian Osmond

    Another item in this musical-bars: Tangierino in Charlestown is expanding, and has hired a new bar manager and is now going to be a place for real cocktails. Michael Anthony, the new general manager, has totally updated the wine and beer lists, and we’ve been spending the past couple weeks designing and tweaking brand-new cocktails.

    Tangierino was not previously a place known for really top-notch creative cocktails, but I’m feeling excited that we’re going to be in the top tier of Boston cocktail spots.

    C’mon by some time — I’m really looking forward to this place; I really respect Anthony, and I feel that I’m working with a bunch of people who are going to be Names You Recognize real soon now.

    – Ian, Bartender Geek

  7. MC Slim JB

    It’s been a while since I’ve been by, but last I was, Tangierino only had a beer/wine/cordial license, which made for some very nasty so-called cocktails. When did it get a full license? Is there a specialty cocktail list online? Where did Michael Anthony come from?

  8. Ian Osmond

    It just got the full license recently, and Michael Anthony was most recently in Vegas. I’ve never been out there, but I’ve been REAL impressed with him since he hired me. The guy is creative, has a good sense of taste, and is drilling us repeatedly on the cocktails he’s designed — but also allowing us to make suggestions and improve them.

    I don’t think the specialty list is online yet, since we were tinkering with things really until the opening.

    Yeah, the cocktails and alcohol program in general at Tangierino used to suck. The new wine list, though, is AMAZING. 22 wines by the glass, all of which are excellent. Well, given that we did the tasting in one sitting, over several hours, even though I was spitting, I can really only SWEAR that the first eighteen or so were really amazing — the last four I THINK were amazing, too, but I was getting a bit sloshed by the end. The beer program is creative — I haven’t tasted all the beers yet, but I like the range of styles he picked out.

    As far as cocktails go — well, he bought a half-dozen of everything that Fee Brothers makes, along with pretty much the entire Stirling bitters line. And the liquors and liqueurs he brought in are all high-quality stuff, including a few I’d never seen before — one of the signature drinks is made with Hangar 1 Pear Vodka, a booze which I’d never seen before — but which is DAMN tasty, and even tastier in the cocktail he designed.

    Am I biased? I sure hope so — I’m working there. But I’m working there because I’m excited about what he’s doing, and I want to be part of it — I’m not just talking it up because it’s where I’m working. I’m working there because I really think the place is worth talking up.

  9. bostonia

    Tangierino is in the worst location. Granted, I haven’t heard great things( nor bad) but there’s nothing over there really. Who wants to go to ‘tavern’ in the cold

  10. bostonia

    I forgot to say that Drink was not the bestest and Id give 1 star. Im not totally negative at all but I had high expectations. I think Lucky’s came through (once again) as we left after one. Mine was gross. The novelty of breaking the ice was far less when your actual glass was 1.5″ tall

  11. ljclark

    Wow, Tangierino, who knew? Never even heard of the place until MC Slim and Ian piped up. Looks l’ll have to check it out. Bostonia, sorry your experiences at Drink have been disappointing. Personally, I’m impressed with the place, but it’s not for everyone, particularly regulars at Lucky’s, I imagine.

  12. Arnold

    I just wanted to say that I stopped by Craigie on Main on Saturday afternoon (just as the torrential downpour hit), and Tom did not disappoint. In fact, his first drink was so good I stayed for dinner (after promising myself I wasn’t going to spend the money…).

    Between Green St, Rendezvous, Hungry Mother, Monday Night Supper Club, Chez Henri (with Rob), and now Craigie–this Cantabrigian can live with loss of the B-Side and the distance/lack of easy public transportation options for Drink.

  13. Ian Osmond

    Bostonia — as far as location, yes and no. Charlestown is off of the beaten path for some, but it’s not that hard to get to — it’s right near Bunker Hill, right near the Bunker Hill Orange Line stop, and the Community College. Parking sucks, but they’ve got valet, so it’s not something YOU have to deal with.

    And I think it’s worth making the trip. Again, I confess to bias here, but still . . . .

  14. mf

    Definitely interested in ongoing scuttlebutt about this as I’m a neighbor and would love to know what’s coming to the ‘hood next.

    Also, would like to know where to go visit Rob — I see that Chez Henri on Mondays is one place to find him. If anyone knows of other spots, I’d be grateful to hear. He was good to me back when he was at Flat Top’s and I was a semi-regular there, so I’d like to keep throwing business his way.


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