The bartender carousel keeps spinning, dropping Griffin Elliott off at one of the most high-profile bar gigs in town. Four years ago, Elliott was a server in the Viagra Triangle. Now he's the heir to Josh Pearson behind the Sepia bar, taking over for the departed head bartender. He did it with a lust for knowledge, guidance from some of the best in town, a clean slate in bartending, and a little luck.
As a server at Dublin's, Elliott knew he wanted more, taking a fortuitous position as a server assistant at Boka, finding his mentor in former head mixologist Ben Schiller. Elliott filled his clean slate by picking Schiller's brain, coming in early for eight weeks to learn the trade of "chef behind the bar." When a bartender position opened, Elliott jumped.
Two years later, Elliott moved over to the six-week-old Scofflaw to work alongside Danny Shapiro, giving Elliott a high-volume skill set at one of the most sought-after bars in the city. He says he made between 200 and 300 craft cocktails a weekend there.
Now at Sepia, Elliott is jumping to a similar situation as Boka: a "superstar chef/bartender combo" with Andrew Zimmerman, an opportunity to work more with the kitchen, and more exclusive time with guests to craft off-menu cocktails. Elliott leans towards light and refreshing and is looking to launch a summer menu in a few weeks. But he's also into the classics, so keep an eye out for drier spirit-driven recipes.
His first official day at Sepia, a far cry from the Viagra Triangle, will be May 27.
[Photo courtesy of Griffin Elliott]