Rick Blumberg has been named manager of adult beverage, research and development, and purchasing for Marlow’s Tavern. Previously the beverage director for Bacchanalia Restaurant Group, which includes such celebrated Atlanta restaurants as Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, and Dub’s Fish Camp, Blumberg has 23 years of restaurant management and beverage experience to aid him in the many aspects of his new role.
“Rick brings a unique perspective, which will help elevate our guest experience providing them with a unique beverage and dining experience, but in the approachable Marlow’s style in their local, neighborhood tavern,” says Marlow’s Tavern executive chef, CEO and co-founder John C. Metz. “His fine dining background has given him a progressive approach to cuisine, cocktails and service, while his warmth and welcoming personality make him a perfect match for our local community-driven tavern.”
As the driving force behind the beverage operations at Marlow’s, Blumberg manages the beverage purchasing for the restaurants, in addition to new cocktail and beverage development for every season, and creating new beer, wine and cocktail menus. He supports training and bartender development of those new products and menu items for each menu rollout, and it is the most rewarding part of his job. “Gathering together all the beverage managers, chefs and servers to taste what we’ve created is really inspiring,” he says.
Marlow’s guests can expect new, unique and exciting “soon-to-be-classic” cocktails as well as current beer and wine selections under Blumberg’s direction. Although the core list of beverage offerings is predominantly consistent, each tavern maintains individuality with tap beer and liquor selections. “I’ll be adding in more unique spirits,” says Blumberg. “Guests will see a lot of classic mixology with a twist.”
Blumberg shares Metz’s devotion to high-quality food, beverages and service. “John’s true passion for hospitality is what connected us and drew me to this role. Every time I hear people talk about Marlow’s they are saying how much they love the drinking and dining experience there. John’s drive and desire for excellence is the reason.”
An accomplished industry veteran whose career in management began in college at Pennsylvania State University’s upscale dining concept, Blumberg has an impressive résumé that also includes management positions at The Optimist, King + Duke, Woodfire Grill, Abattoir, Restaurant Eugene, Holeman and Finch Public House, Emeril’s and Morton’s The Steakhouse in Atlanta. Additionally, he has an extensive knowledge of wine, having completed the first two levels of certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
As Blumberg makes the transition from his previous fine dining roles to an upscale casual atmosphere, he looks forward to spending more time with guests and diners in a more relaxed sense. The endless opportunities for education are what excite him most about working with Marlow’s.
“The more I teach my team and my guests, the more I learn,” he says. “One of the most enjoyable parts of my new job is influencing so many people. Just one placement of a new beer can impact thousands of people in a season.”
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