Steele Platt opened the first Yard House restaurant in Long Beach, CA, in late 1996. He sold the beer-centric concept—now a 42-unit chain–to Darden Restaurants last year for $585 million. Platt, who will deliver the keynote address at the Cheers Beverage Conference in Dallas on Feb 12, talks with Cheers about his early days in the business, the Yard House story and what makes a restaurant successful.
Scene: Cocktailing in the Capital
With its bold mix of power, politics and deal-making, symbolic domes and mighty façades of government, Washington, D.C., grabs national attention every four years when elections roll around. But now that elections are over, let the spotlight linger. Not on statues of statesmen, but on the city’s neighborhoods and places DC insiders know—on the not-so-well-kept secret that Washington (you know how secrets go in this city) has become one of the best destination bar towns in the country.
Ahh, Dallas – home of some of the biggest names in F&B, and some of the hottest talent behind the bar. Cheers Beverage Conference 2013 will feature some of The Big D’s finest Bar Stars, along with our Celebrity Mixologists whose reputations are known worldwide.
The star-studded excitement begins on Tuesday, February 12, when renowned Celebrity Mixologists take on the “Mad Men” genre, mixing the classics and their own creative concoctions with panache, personality and poise. This stellar lineup includes:
• Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist
• Kathy Casey, Owner, Kathy Casey Food Studios® – Liquid Kitchen™
• Dale DeGroff, Author and Mixologist, Beverage Alcohol Resource
• Brian Zachau, Managing Partner, LiquidMotion
• Tad Carducci, Co-founder, Tippling Bros.
Then on Wednesday, February 13, Dallas’ Bar Stars will sweep you off your feet at the Cheers “I Love Dallas” Reception, where passionate potables take the stage and our stars from the city’s hottest spots compete in cocktail innovation with a Valentine’s theme. Enjoy the absolutely lovable libations of:
• Michael Martensen, The Cedar Social
• Brian McCullough, The Standard Pour
• Jason Kosmos, The 86 Co.
• Charlie Papaceno, The Windmill
• Featured Mixologist: Adam Seger, Sommelier/Mixologist, iPic Entertainment; Creator, HUM Botanical Spirit, Truffe Amere by Rare Botanical Bitters Company and BarKeep Swedish Herb Bitters
There’s so much to love at Cheers – the program, speakers, round robins, Craft Showcase and more. Check out the full agenda and get all the details and register today at CheersConference.com. Don’t forget to reserve your room at the Crown Plaza Downtown Dallas. We’ll see you in Dallas!
1 oz. Vanilla vodka
½ oz. Frangelico
½ oz. Buttershots
½ oz. Kahlua
½ oz. Half and half
Add ingredients to a shaker with ice. Drizzle chocolate syrup into a martini glass, making a design. Place one cherry at the bottom of the glass and one cherry, with a slice in it, on the rim of the glass. Shake very well, strain and serve.
This drink was created by Dez, the mixologist at the Double Hitch Ranch outside Albany, NY.
Bartenders Are Doing More Than Taking Orders
Craft Beer Keeps Growing
Frozen Grapes Gathered Under Stars Make Canada’s Ice Wine
Independent Distillers USA recently released two flavored Bourbons, Killer Bee (Bourbon and honey) and Hot Licks (Bourbon and cinnamon). Killer Bee is a combination of Woodstock Kentucky Bourbon and is warm and smoothing, according to the company. Hot Licks is wet, stiff and spicy, also according to the company.
Blair Estate Pinot Noir
Monterey County’s Blair Estate recently released its first wine, a 2010 Pinot Noir. The wine is available through the company’s website, as well as in on- and off-premise locations. The company is also available at a new tasting room in Carmel-By-The-Sea, opened by Blair Estate and Shale Canyon Winery. The new wine is available for a suggested retail price of $35 per bottle.
On my recent visit to the CasaMagna Marriott in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I found the service at the 500-room, oceanfront property to be classically friendly, high-speed and American corporate. A tour of the property revealed the resort’s high standards for its staff.
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