We are on the fourth year of Eater Cocktail Week and with each year, we celebrated Denver's best mixologists in the Best Bartenders feature. During Eater Cocktail Week 2012, we captured eleven of the men and women who have, in many ways, set the trends, raised the bar, and elevated our bar scene. A lot can happen in the career of a bartender in a full three years but these eleven have, for the most part, stayed put and pushed the boundaries of their positions further.
Then: Williams & Graham Now: Terminal Bar
Then: Frasca Food and Wine Now: Same
Then: Oak at Fourteenth Now: Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn
**Dayton is also in the process of opening Brider. His bar programs at Acorn was one of ten finalists in the Best American Restaurant Bar for the Spirited Awards, an Oscar-like celebration of the bar world.
Then: Williams & Graham Now: Williams & Graham and the Occidental
*Kenyon is also working on American Bonded, a bar that will open in RiNo next year. Last summer, he was named American Bartender of the year at the Spirited Awards, sort of an Oscar of the booze world. Williams & Graham was named the best bar in America in the Spirited Awards this summer.
Then: Linger, RootDown Now: Linger, RootDown, Ophelia's, RootDown DIA
*Henderson serves as beverage director for the Edible Beats group,
Then: Bar Director at Ace Now: Beverage Director for the Secret Sauce F& B group, which includes Vesta Dipping Grill, Ace, Steuben's, and the upcoming Steuben's Arvada
Then: Steuben's Bar Manager Now: Same, although he has been on sabbatical the last few weeks after a motorcycle accident
Then: Bar Director for the Wynkoop and Breckenridge Group Now: Luxury spirits specialist in Boulder, Arvada, and Fort Collins for Republic National Distributing Company
Then: Bar manager at Colt & Gray Now: Beverage director for Colt & Gray and Ste. Ellie
Then: Bartender at Colt & Gray Now: Beverage Director for Colonie and Gran Electrica
Then: Punch Bowl Social Now: On premises spirits specialist for Diageo
Then: Oak at Fourteenth Now: Bar manager at Acorn
Then: Beverage director for Bonanno Concepts Now: Same