Bartenders, Drink

Ben Fitzgerald, Bars Manager, New York

Soho House New York’s Bars Manager on how he got here

How long have you been working for Soho House?

Two years next week actually. I started a day before my birthday!

Where were you working before you joined Soho House?

My first job in London was at the W hotel in Leicester Square. I was travelling through Morocco when I saw a friend of mine post on Facebook saying she was looking for bartenders and I jumped on the next flight and started three days later.

What has been your most memorable night behind the bar?

My most memorable night behind the bar would have to be at Dean Street Townhouse serving Natalie Portman a pint of Guinness and watching her drink four. I gained so much respect for her after that.

Tell us about your favourite cocktail…

I don’t like to have favourites but at this moment in the evening I really feel like a Brooklyn. Such a lovely drink. Rye whiskey, dry vermouth, Amer picon and maraschino.

… And your guilty pleasure drink?

Boilermaker… I always feel like beer and whisky!

What is your favourite bar?

My favourite bar would have to be Saxon & Parole in New York. The drinks program there is amazing.

What advice would you give to bartenders trying to make it in the industry?

Seek as much knowledge as you can. Knowledge is power and will help you be better and more confident behind the bar.

Who has been your inspiration?

My inspiration doesn’t just come from one person really, there are a few people that have inspired me along the way but i take a lot of inspiration from the industry itself and the fact that it’s always growing and evolving. The ever-changing trends keep me inspired and the industry is always getting better, which means we need to continue to improve in order to keep up.

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