9 Park (a late-afternoon weekend ritual for my wife and me for years), the Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, and finally at Tavern Road.
I cannot add much that has not already been said in the recent online outpouring of shock, grief and celebratory remembrances of this extraordinarily talented bartender, genuinely caring hospitality pro, and uncommonly vivid force of nature.
I will never forget your incredible energy, riotous good humor, fantastic cocktails, and above all, your dedication to making your customers feel loved and well cared for. MC: Drink that you wish more customers would order?
RM: I wish more customers would order gin cocktails (e.g., "Gin doesn't agree with me!
MC: What is your most prized bartending accoutrement, e.g., spoon, ice tool, ice mold, shaker, mixing glass, knife, Lewis bag, cocktail book, serving glass, other piece of barware or glassware, etc.? He smiled and said "You’re right, I’m sorry, never again in this or any bar!
(Could be a work piece or something on your home bar.) RM: First-edition “Bon Vivant’s Companion” by Jerry Thomas. RM: Yelling drink orders at the bartenders while we are either making drinks, taking another drink order, or interacting with another guest. This bar also does some of the most cocktail volume in the country. I had a guy from Jersey waving his credit card and cash at the opposite end of the bar. " Then he and I had a shot together and the night continued as it started.
By now you’ve probably heard that Ryan Mc Grale, beverage director at Tavern Road, passed away suddenly, unexpectedly this weekend.
The news left me stunned: I'd sat countless times at his bar at No.
But I did get to feature him in my April 2014 cover story for The Improper Bostonian on Boston bartenders, entitled "Pouring Reign".
(I so love his front-and-center badassery in Adam De Tour’s awesome cover photo, right.) In this piece, I talked with a dozen local pros I admire: six promising newcomers, and six talented veterans whom I felt didn’t get the press attention they deserved, in which latter company I firmly placed Mc Grale.
I had to edit the interviews heavily for length, which left too many colorful, telling reflections from my subjects on the cutting room floor.