By Jessica Bowne | October 28, 2016 | Food & Drink
The city’s mixologists seem to know everything about their most loyal clientele—favorite cocktails, preferred seat, and an unspoken promise to keep your dating life a secret—but what do we know about them when they aren’t behind the bar? We asked Boston’s best bartenders what they do and where they go on their days off. From motorcycle aficionados to record store fiends and even part time students, these bartenders shine just as bright when they aren’t mixing up trend-setting cocktails.
"I am grateful to have stumbled upon my passion for bartending, but my first love will always be motorcycles. When I'm not behind the stick at Tavern Road, you can catch me scooting around town on my Harley chopper or helping out at Mad House Motors, which often just means drinking beer and telling awful dad jokes. After I graduated high school I got a job delivering pizza and saved up to buy my first bike, a Honda Rebel. I loved that bike and the sense of accomplishment and freedom it gave me. My grandparents used to have a moto shop in my hometown and I still wear my father's old helmet - bikes are in my blood. When I'm at work I can't wait to lock up the bar and ride home. There's something magical about cruising through the city at 3 a.m. and having Boston all to yourself. I wouldn't trade my two wheels for the world."
"I'm usually home for a bit trying to get my house organized and spend a little time with the pups, as a bartender since we have such weird/late schedules mundane things like laundry, cleaning your room, and getting a good healthy meal means a lot. And of course after you get those done is nice to go and do the 'rounds' which is to visit another bartender who's not on his day off and brighten their shift!"
"Most nights off are spent visiting industry friends. We spend so much of our time making sure people have a great night out, it's important to go and have that experience yourself. "
"My home is my sanctuary and I'm always looking for ways to fall more in love with it. If I'm not painting a room you can find me spending a fortune at Home Goods!"
"On the rare day off, usually it's sleeping in. Then a late brunch for food and of course drinks and whiskey (Jameson preferred). After, its home for a nap then off to any new spot I've been wanting to check out, after dinner usually a bar/restaurant crawl to see industry friends and experience life from the other side of the bar for a change. Lastly, it's catching last call at The Franklin Cafe in the South End or Citizens in Fenway, both places are late night industry bars where we meet with friends, peers, and colleagues to both celebrate and commiserate about the day, over Miller High Life, Jameson, and fernet as it was meant to be."
“Of course I like to eat and drink good things on my days off because I enjoy restaurants and the camaraderie and culture behind them. And I like food. They are an escape, though, even if I'm in one all the time. The Boston restaurant scene is great, but a world outside Boston does exist and has sparked some really neat dining scenes. I have been taking a lot of day trips to what I have just dubbed the three 'Ps,' Portland, Porstmouth, and Providence. Food and the arts and cocktails and beer have seen a great upswing in these cities and you can eat, drink, and relax incredibly well in them. I've had some of my best dining experiences in these places recently. From high-end wine bars and tasting menus to little dives where everything is only $5, there are so many great options. It's good to see these smaller cities bringing a big food game.”
"In my leisure time I enjoy practicing yoga, visiting local record stores (JP has a great restaurant record store hybrid in Tres Gatos,) going to the beach (counting the days until it’s summer again,) dining at new and interesting restaurants, and trying out recipes for home and work (behind a bar or behind a stove/oven!). I like to have a balance of relaxation and adventure."
“I rarely have a night off...besides making cocktails I also produce records, play in a couple of bands, and DJ. When I do have free time, I enjoy remixing and remastering records in my home studio or I'll make a cocktail (or three) and enjoy a film, mostly grindhouse fare like horror, kung fu, and Bollywood action/horror flix from the '70s and 80s.”
“Between bartending and school, a real night off tends to be rare. But when I do have an evening off, I like to go visit my favorite bars and see what other bartenders in the industry are coming up with. I always love seeing the new techniques or trends that Boston bartenders are using – it’s great to see what they’re doing that’s new and innovative. Some of my favorite bars to visit include Silvertone, Carrie Nation, and I have to admit, I do go to my own bar, Citizen Public House, on my nights off also! What can I say, I love a good whiskey bar. Outside of that, my favorite evenings include spending time with my beautiful wife and awesome dogs.”
"I go to Northeastern University on my nights off work, so I usually go to class and then walk a co-ed over to SRV and Wally's for some Italian wine, unpronounceable bar bites, and live jazz. My days off are spent studying, occasionally hiking Mt. Monadnock with my dad, and shopping for ties, pins, and socks that represent my inner-self. My time off is also spent spending the money I earned the night before, usually at The Boston Shaker in Davis (#boozebooks), Ma Magoo's in Fresh Pond, the Converse outlet store at Assembly Row, and finally at whatever bar my towny friends and bar snob friends can agree on (Charlie's Kitchen and Deep Ellum, for the win)."
“I'm a very spontaneous person, which works out well because my days off are usually pretty spontaneous. When I'm not working, my days usually consist around a nice home cooked meal. In restaurants, we're constantly on stage and sometimes I just like to cook, sit back and catch up on life. Most recently I find myself trying to get outside as much as possible. I love hiking and it doesn't get much better than fall in New England. If the stars align at night I try to catch some live music or go watch a professional sporting event.”
"I like to watch the newest episode of West World because that show is fire."
"On my days off of work, I actually like to be a tourist in my own city. I take walking tours, visit museums, try new restaurants, and just relax as if I'm on vacation."
"Typically on a night off I try and stay out of the bar scene as I'm in it all week at work. I spend most of my nights off doing fun activities with my son Mason. However, I do try and dabble into the scene a few times a month. I go out with friends to all different types of place to enjoy good food and creative cocktails in the early hours, then to a louder club scene in the later hours. We try and travel to other cities to do this as often as we can but if not, Boston is a great place to do it as well."
"On my nights off I love hitting up different bars around the city. Places like The Hawthorne, Audubon, and Drink are some of my favorites. It is always fun to see what talented bartenders are up to."
"My better half is a teacher, so our schedules don't exactly align all that well. Nights off are spent with her, usually with the two of us cooking a meal together at home and enjoying it with a bottle of wine. If we do go out, we try to hit up a spot on our list of places we haven't been to yet. A list that's ever-increasing thanks to all the restaurant openings in town."
Photography by Drea/13 Photography (Brian Kline); Melissa-Ostrow (Sadoian)
January 31, 2019
February 7, 2019