Sam's Story

From my first job at Cheers here in Boston, to a swanky hotel bar in Hawaii, I've bartended all over and loved using my creativity to create memorable experiences for my guests. See below to learn more about me. 

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Early years

I grew up in the suburbs west of Boston. I played a lot of tennis and ultimate frisbee and became a nerd about sci-fi fantasy. I made my first cocktail at age 10 when my uncle visited for a week and taught me how to make him an Old Fashioned. 

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Started bartending

Jumped into the biz because I needed a summer job. My best friend's older brother told me to try out bartending. So I went to the Boston School of Bartending where I learned how to pour colored water and vaguely know recipes for a lemon drop or a cosmo. Needless to say the school didn't help me much land a job. So with a little help from the above mentioned uncle, and a few white lies, I landed a job working at Cheers in Faneuil Hall in Boston. (This was the one that was designed exactly like the TV set)

 With that on my resume it was easy to get a job bartending in Northfield, MN for the rest of my college years. Even though it was a beer and shots type of tavern, I did enjoy creating unique drinks (kiwi martinis anyone?and making classics with real fresh ingredients, like squeezing garnish limes into my Margaritas instead of using bottled sour mix. 

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Started bartending

Jumped into the biz because I needed a summer job. My best friend's older brother told me to try out bartending. So I went to the Boston School of Bartending where I learned how to pour colored water and vaguely know recipes for a lemon drop or a cosmo. Needless to say the school didn't help me much land a job. So with a little help from the above mentioned uncle, and a few white lies, I landed a job working at Cheers in Faneuil Hall in Boston. (This was the one that was designed exactly like the TV set)

 With that on my resume it was easy to get a job bartending in Northfield, MN for the rest of my college years. Even though it was a beer and shots type of tavern, I did enjoy creating unique drinks (kiwi martinis anyone?and making classics with real fresh ingredients, like squeezing garnish limes into my Margaritas instead of using bottled sour mix. 

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SEATTLE TO BOSTON TO HAWAII

After college that same uncle (I owe a lot to you Uncle Jim, thanks!) helped get me a job at BOKA in Hotel 1000 in Seattle. We thought we were really cool because we infused our own vodkas. Worked my way up to the lead bartender and was really enjoying the biz. But alas I got homesick for the East Coast and moved back. Back in Boston I wanted to work at the best spots and was lucky enough to get a barback job at Eastern Standard where I learned a ton. Then in 2008 I landed one of the opening bartender spots at Drink, the amazing cocktail bar that redefined the scene in the city! 

But then... someone offered me a job in Hawaii, and I couldn't pass up the chance. I was on the opening team at the Edition Waikiki luxury boutique hotel and I got to help come up with the drinks for 5 different bars in the hotel. 

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BACK TO BOSTON

... and the husband & wife duo that had opened Journeyman Restaurant emailed me and said, "hey we know you're living in Hawaii right now, but if you're done with that, we want you to come manage the bar we're planning on opening"

As I was comfortably living in the best place on earth, I obviously ignored their email. But a week later I lost my hotel job, and all of a sudden a manager position seemed like a good idea instead jobless in the islands. 

And the rest, as they say, is history. Backbar opened in 2011 and I've been having the time of my life operating one of the best bars in the Boston area. 

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