Making the love child of a dive and a cocktail bar
When creating the vibe and menu for Bar Mash, Teddy wanted a low-key, divey feel, but with upscale drinks and food, and a strong emphasis on whiskey. Similar to the way he describes himself (“I like to be fancy, but I can also get a little weird”), Bar Mash is a place where you can get an artisan jello shot, a $12 cocktail, or an ice-cold Coors Banquet (Teddy’s favorite beer) on draught.
When hiring his bar staff for Mash, Teddy really wanted to avoid a common customer problem of a varied experience depending on who’s manning the bar.
“I played hockey growing up in Massachusetts, and to me, a bar staff is just like a hockey team,” he said. “Every person behind the bar fills a certain position so that it runs smoothly and consistently no matter who’s working that night.”
Battle of the bartenders
Teddy really knew he was doin’ it right after the Iron Mixology contest at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
The William Grant-sponsored event pitted 28 Charleston bartenders against each other, then narrowed down the competition over three rounds. In the same style as Chopped, the bartenders were presented with one secret ingredient, which they had to use to create a one-of-a-kind cocktail for the competition.
The first round’s secret ingredient was Drambuie Scotch, the second round was corn, and the final round required using coffee. In the final round, Teddy competed against local bartenders (and friends) Steven Huddleston of The Spectator, Sam Gabrielli of Proof, and Iouli Burroughs of Fish, before being named the 2016 Iron Mixologist, his crowning achievement to date.