Mike Ryan

Director of Bars, Kimpton Hotels, IL, USA

As Kimpton’s Director of Bars, Mike’s experience in the culinary and bar industry spans 15-plus years. Mike’s primary responsibilities on the core beverage team involve training and educating on-the-ground bartenders and helping open or refresh Kimpton’s collection of bars and lounges around the country. He also creates bar education programs around timely bar trends and executes lively bar summits for additional hands-on training and teambuilding.

Prior to his national role, Mike helped launch Kimpton’s Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago in 2010, which soon became a local favorite and lauded nationwide by industry critics and peers. Under Mike’s bar leadership, Sable was named one the “Best Bars in America” by Food & Wine, one of the “Best Hotel Bars in the US” by USA Today, one of the “Top 55 Whiskey Bars in the US” by Bourbon Review.

His innovative cocktails have also been featured in People magazine, Whiskey Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Redbook magazine, and Mike was also named Nightclub & Bar’s “Bartender of the Month.” Under Mike’s direction, Kimpton’s beverage program was named “2017 On-Premise Player of the Year” by MarketWatch. Mike grew up outside Philadelphia in Pottstown and moved to Chicago in 2001 to attend The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. While working at the postmodern restaurant Moto as a line cook and then sous chef, he began self-educating himself on the world of spirits at The Violet Hour. He was eventually hired on and mentored behind the bar to meld the culinary with the cocktail. Soon after, Mike received a coveted 2009 scholarship in the Cocktail Apprentice program at New Orleans’ annual Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier cocktail festival. Mike was instrumental in helping develop the Cocktail Apprentice Program into one of the world’s most respected bartender and event training programs, from 2009 to 2016.

Based in Chicago, Mike also plans to pursue sommelier and cicerone certification programs to further expand his knowledge base and conquer the beverage world, one drink at a time.


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