Best of Boston

BEST Bartender

2005 BEST Bartender

Lee Jennings, Union Bar and Grille


A bartender’s primary pursuits are a flawless cocktail mixed with speed and accuracy, and sensational service graciously delivered. Jennings has mastered both. Part bartender, part professor, he’ll happily take a moment to wax lyrical on a pinot noir or expound… read more»

2004 BEST Bartender

Shawn Ahern, Union Bar and Grille


Quick with the drink recommendation and the flourished bottle, Shawn Ahern is a professional in a trade too full of aspirant talk-show hosts. He pours a finely tuned martini and is brisk and responsive to eye contact, yet his friendliness… read more»

2003 BEST Bartender

Greg Griffin, Saint


There are some who believe that a bartender should be neither seen nor heard—that he or she should be a pair of hands floating mimelike in the ether, deft with the empty glass and silent unless rattling out a martini…. read more»

2002 BEST Bartender

K.C. Cargill, Chez Henri


At first glance, Cargill has the right résumé: He started at Cheers. Of course, he was only parking cars. Now behind the bar at a more upscale and off-the-beaten-path location, the Newburyport native has quietly made a name for himself,… read more»

2001 BEST Bartender

Joe McGuirk, B-Side Lounge


McGuirk is a throwback to a time when cocktails were made without a measuring cup, lighting a lady’s cigarette was cool, and bow-tied bartenders had all the answers. Even his deep, warbling voice resonates with black-and-white romanticism; he recently auditioned… read more»

2000 BEST Bartender, Drinks

Joe McGuirk, B-Side Lounge


The B-Side Lounge has the feel of a real neighborhood establishment, but ever since Joe was written up in Details magazine as a great bartender, tourists have been showing up looking for him. What makes him so great? He’s flirtatious… read more»

1999 BEST Bartender, Beer and Wine

Suzi Dobeli, Bukowski Tavern


Suzi doesn’t mix drinks, because Bukowski is a wine and beer bar only—albeit with one of the selections this side of Brighton. But she has everything else a top bartender should: easy charm; a great memory for faces, names, and… read more»

1999 BEST Bartender, Cocktails

Peter Cipriani, 29 Newbury


Sure, the only requirement for a good bartender is that he’s quick with a drink. For a great bartender, stir in some personality. But to be elevated to Bar God status, you need a whole lot more. Peter has the… read more»

1994 BEST Bartender

Joe Zimmerman at Joe’s American Bar & Grill


Quick, courteous, friendly, and professional, Zimmerman is head and shoulders (literally and figuratively) above the rest. His supporting cast is better than most, too. read more»

1992 BEST Bartender

Robert Gerard, St. Cloud


A better mixologist than Gerard would be hard to find. But what distinguishes him is the way he makes his three-sided bar feel like an old friend’s living room. read more»