Shift Change

New Bar Manager at MistralKitchen

Matt Bailey arrives from Venik to take over William Belickis’s cocktail program.

By Allecia Vermillion March 1, 2012

Today marks the official debut of both the new bar manager and his 10 new season-appropriate cocktails. Photo by Andrew Waits.

South Lake Union restaurant MistralKitchen has a new bar manager. According to the release sent out this morning, chef-owner William Belickis has hired Matt Bailey to carry on the thoughtful cocktail program begun by Andrew Bohrer when the restaurant opened in 2010 (and carried on by a few others).

Bailey, according to the restaurant, has worked previously at highly legit local cocktail destinations such as Liberty, Barrio and Needle and Thread. His most recent post was just a few blocks away at Venik, the bar known for both its cocktails and its handy adjacency to Russian bathhouse-spa Banya 5.

Mistral’s rep kept mum on the new bar manager’s identity for a few weeks, giving Bailey time to launch his own cocktail menu, which includes a few vodka-based nods to his previous gig. Any time I have talked to a new hire at MistralKitchen, he or she has expressed excitement about being let loose in a kitchen full of gadgets, ovens, and other culinary playthings. One new arrival on the drink list, a ginger caipirinha, includes fresh ginger cooked sous vide along with Brazilian sugarcane-based spirit cachaca.

Both Bailey and his 10 new drinks make their official debut today.

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