I’ve written much on the why, how and when previously kind and hospitable bartenders mysteriously transform into utter assholes or douchebag mixologists. But, don’t take it just from me. I’m not the only game in this town (or The Wrong Coast for that matter). Enter Eric Alperin of Hey Bartender fame (I’m still waiting to see the movie) and barkeep at L.A.’s The Varnish.
Within the bartending and retro-bar (read: Speakeasy) circles of New York City, one person’s name is uttered more than most as having been the most influential in recent years. That name – the man – is Sasha Petraske. I don’t know a ton about the guy. But, I do know a ton about his venues and reach. I’m a huge fan and infrequent guest. To say he’s had a slight impact on the “haute-imbibery” (which few might describe as douchebaggery in some cases) would be akin to denoting Danny Meyer – and his Union Square Hospitality Group – has had a “small role” in shaping the downtown NYC dining scene. Rather, these folks are 10,000 pound, gargantuan elephants in Hospitality in terms of influence.