Old Major, the anticipated restaurant from chef Justin Brunson featuring contemporary farmhouse cuisine and sustainable seafood, announced that two of Denver's power bartenders, Courtney Wilson and Ryan Conklin, will join its team. "We are psyched to add Courtney and Ryan to our incredible team of industry veterans and have them work together to lead our bar program," said Brunson. "Courtney mixes some of the best cocktails in town and Ryan knows everything you need to know about beer and spirits," he added.
Wilson, who was high on the list for the Eater Awards Best Bartenders of 2012, comes to Brunson's team from Williams & Graham, the LoHi speakeasy co-owned by Sean Kenyon. At William & Graham, she managed the bar as well as took the role of general manager since it opened in 2011. A Georgia native, Wilson got her bartending start at a Macon downtown music venue called Elizabeth Reed's Music Hall. Since then, she has worked in several bars, including Steuben's where she first worked with Sean Kenyon. Wilson is active in the bartending community, participating in numerous competitions and currently serving as the president of the Colorado Bartenders Guild. "I'm excited to join a passionate and enthusiastic team of people that are all committed to bringing an amazing concept to the neighborhood and community," said Wilson. "The space is beautiful and Justin's menu promises to be one of the best I've seen," she added.
Conklin, also one of the top five in the Eater Awards Best Bartenders of 2012 has led the prominent beer program Euclid Hall since its opening in 2010. Conklin's start in the service industry was at Sweet Basil in Vail. After years in the restaurant world and bartending stints at the Gashouse and Zach's Cabin, he joined the team at Euclid Hall. In 2011, Ryan became a level two certified cicerone and is currently training to obtain the level three certification. In 2013, Ryan plans to try for the master certification to become one of only five master Cicerones in the world. "Although it was not an easy decision, joining Old Major will give me an opportunity to round out aspects of my beverage knowledge with an incredible team," said Conklin. "It's not often a project like this comes along were people at the top of their game are tapped to build something that is greater than the sum of the parts," Conklin explained.
Wilson and Conklin will co-manage the bar at Old Major, while sommelier Jonathan Greschler, who also serves as general manager, will lead its wine program. "Our bar program we will feature an eclectic selection of beer, spirits and wine as well as unique cocktail creations and exclusive Old Major red and white wines from Infinite Monkey Theorem that will be the perfect compliment to Justin's food creations," Greschler revealed.
Old Major will open later this winter for dinner seven nights a week and weekend brunches. The restaurant will have an in-house butchery program, a nightly happy hour and plans to open for lunch by summer 2013.
· Old Major Breaks Ground On Its Space [EDen]
· Chef Justin Brunson Launches Denver Bacon Company [EDen]
· Ryan Conklin of Euclid Hall On Beer Cocktails And Beyond [EDen]
· Eater Awards 2012 Best Bartenders [EDen]