Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | April 23, 2009

Sad News

Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post reports that May 19th will be the final edition of Bar Pilar’s Tuesday Cocktail Sessions, as  Adam Bernbach will be leaving BP. Hahn reports on what the closing weeks of Adam’s tenure as general manager and head bartender of Bar Pilar will look like:

“What I’m going to be doing [over the next few months] is going to be more intense” than the Cocktail Sessions, Bernbach says. “Ideally I’d like to have more people involved. I want to explore the world of cocktails and the world of taste, things that I’m really into. … . It’s not molecular mixology so much, but it will be more elemental — using raw sugar cane as a base working with rhum agricole,” the rum from the French West Indies made from fermented sugar cane.

In time, Bernbach says, he’ll probably be back behind a bar in D.C., but he’s “not 100 percent sure at this point” where that might be or what it might entail. “Ideally, I’d like to be managing but also focusing on cocktails.”

This makes me really sad. The Tuesday Cocktail Sessions at Bar Pilar and Adam’s superb cocktail creation were a huge part of me getting settled into Washington and joining the DC cocktail scene. At them I met a ton of other DC cocktailians who have become friends. Most importantly, I loved drinking Adam’s creations and talking with him about our philosphies on creating new recipes, exploring different flavors and taste ideas, and geeking out on cocktail history. I’ve learned a ton from Adam over the last seven months or so.

I hope Adam chooses to stay in Washington and starts or finds another bar to call home. Having him leave Bar Pilar will change the tone of the DC cocktail scene, but having him leave town entirely would be a huge loss.



  1. […] a sad day for DC drinkers.  Adam Bernbach is leaving Bar Pilar and hasn’t decided if he’ll end up behind a bar […]

  2. […] Tiki Night As Washington DC is about to lose our best weekly cocktail event — Adam Bernbach’s Tuesday Cocktail Sessions — it’s good to hear that Tiffany Short of The Gibson will be rolling out a new Sunday […]

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