Aidan Demarest Leaves Spare Room for Neat Next Week, Prepares to Test Kate Mantilini

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Demarest with fan Michael Voltaggio Photo: Caroline on Crack via Flickr

Passing the bar takes on a whole new meaning when you hire Aidan Demarest and partner Marcos Tello to retool your bar program. Today, the O.G. bar-star tells Squid Ink all about his plans for a forthcoming Glendale haunt named Neat that will find spirits served separately from the cocktail components for guests to mix themselves, part of his larger mission to educate and impassion the populace about spirits and our favored past-time of drinking. He also details his coming consulting project at legendary Kate Mantilini with Tello, his partner in Tello/Demarest Liquid Assets.

As the core of their mission, Demarest says he and Tello studiously appraise every existing business at which they consult to find a cocktail program that will suit the restaurant's space, character, and inherent strengths. He clearly takes the job seriously and insists that trainees do the same, walking writer Caroline on Crack through the process. And yes, employees do get tested!

Demarest claims, "We teach all the staff 75 classic cocktails -- Sazeracs, Bee's Knees...And there's a test at the end, if they don't pass it they don't have a job." Yikes! Sounds like a good reason for the staff at Mantilini to hit the bottle a little early, you knopw, for "extra credit." The duo begins their work at Mantilini on November 1st, so if you're looking for a job and are straight on your classics, you might want to stick close, waiting for a possible power vacuum to open up at the bar.

Q & A With Aidan Demarest: Neat, Kate Mantilini, Guest Bartending + The Bottom Line [Squid Ink]