Red Robin has always had a bar. In fact, the brand started as a tavern near the University of Washington’s campus in the 1940s. But at some point in the 80s or 90s, amid nationwide expansion, the prominence of alcohol was lost in favor of building a more family-friendly environment.
Nothing complements a festive family get-together like a signature drink, and this year, Hard Rock Cafe is introducing a line of limited-edition cocktails that will get guests ready to raise a glass and make the holidays all the merrier.
By the time San Francisco’s legendary Buena Vista Cafe opens its doors at 8 a.m. on weekend mornings, the line extends down the block, visitors chattering side by side as they await entry into the 123-year-old establishment for their taste of the cafe’s world-renowned Irish Coffee.
Industry reports can be a double-edged sword: they foretell trends, but can also mislead operators into thinking there are tastes and ingredients they must have on menus. As information floods in, it takes expertise for operators to understand which trends are worthy of consideration and knowhow to properly menu them.
As the morning daypart lifts off and craft cocktails surge, it was only a matter of time before restaurants and bartenders started putting the essence of the two trends into one glass. Enter tea- and coffee-based cocktails.
Inspired by their travels in Europe, brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin opened Portland, Oregon’s Barley Mill Pub in 1983. In the era of Coors and Budweiser on tap, the brothers dreamed of offering more variety, including house-brewed options.
Roger Theunissen recalls going out to business dinners with colleagues, bankers, and the like, and never knowing which wine to order."It was a frustration," says Theunissen, a software developer and CEO and founder of WineStein, an artificially intelligent sommelier app.
Three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and I’m in a mall-based California Pizza Kitchen.At this hour, servers and staff far outnumber diners in the restaurant. I order a flatbread snack and my husband orders a club sandwich—add cheese, scratch the avocado.
"Plunge to your liking."It's not the typical verbal directions guests receive when ordering a cocktail, but these guidelines indicate Hard Rock Cafe isn't innovating its beverage program in a typical way.
ExpatriateEditor’s choice for best cocktail bar experience in a one-year-old concept.Portland, Oregon Duke Ellington, ’60s British rock, or something more contemporary? Kyle Linden Webster, owner and creator of Expatriate, makes those choices every night as he spontaneously selects LPs to queue on the turntable.
John Halter understands the intense competition that exists for holiday diners, which is why Halter, the owner of Tortilla Republic—a modern Mexican eatery with two Southern California locations and another in Kauai, Hawaii—devotes extensive planning to marketing, service, and operational initiatives aimed at appeasing diners during the calendar’s final two months.
Typical bartender schools aren’t very thorough or well-respected. In fact, driven by the craft cocktail renaissance, some bar managers claim they won’t hire graduates of bartending schools, as this training is nearly always for high-volume bars that use soda guns and outdated recipes.
One of the hottest trends to hit drinkware in recent years was the Mason jar, a popular vehicle for all types of beverages, from iced tea to bourbon, and across all geographic regions. The Mason jar trend might have sprung to life in Southern cafes and summer picnics, but restaurants from New York to California embraced it as a trendy pitcher for individual libations.
It’s a balmy Friday in April as the sun coats Cary, North Carolina, with warm rays and a golden gleam. On the outdoor patio of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, about 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh, couples sip full-bodied red wine or partake in the afternoon tea service.