This Bartender Turned his Dining Room into a Walk in Liquor Closet

Gregory Buda used to work five shifts a week behind the bar at the Dead Rabbit, the Lower Manhattan spot famous for its impeccable cocktails and voluminous Irish whiskey collection. “Now I only work two,” he says. 

Do not interpret this as evidence of a light schedule. Buda is a multidisciplinary scholar exploring the art and science of booze, and his path to prominence as the “director of education and training manager” at that awards magnet of a saloon (and its Cuban-themed sister bar, BlackTail) involved a double major in chemistry and molecular biology at Clarkson University. Dude likes to keep busy.

When Buda’s not behind the stick, he’s teaching the trade to staffers and enlightening delighted patrons about the nuances of pot-still Irish whiskey. Or he may be in London, consulting on spots such as Dickie’s Bar at Corrigan’s Mayfair, which opened last month. Or traveling the globe as a professional photographer documenting the spirits world and much else.

Or perhaps he’s at his home in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, organizing a bar that involves 360 degrees of liquor, in a roughly equivalent number of containers. “Last time I counted it was like 350 or 400 bottles,” Buda says. “Always coming and going.”

Ryan CrownBloomberg