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KJ Williams

Long Island Bar - Brooklyn, NY


KJ has been in the restaurant business his whole life. Starting as an under-age dishwasher, he worked up through the ranks of various positions and he's been bartending for twenty years now. After attending a craft cocktail seminar co-hosted by Julie Reiner over ten years ago in Colorado, KJ dove headfirst into the fledgling movement. Immediately he started utilizing fresh juices, using forgotten spirits like Pimm's, muddling herbs/fruit, making his own bitters, brandied cherries, falernum and ginger beer(you get the picture), as well as constantly reading and attending seminars to learn more 'classic or forgotten' cocktails. All of this was further fueled by frequent trips to San Francisco and especially New York City, visiting all of these new places that cared so much about cocktails. Ultimately, in 2010, KJ and his wife Christine, who also happens to be in the bar business, left beautiful Colorado after twenty years and moved to NYC. Ironically, he quickly landed at Julie Reiners' iconic cocktail bar Flatiron Lounge where he worked for over six years, the last four as head bartender. Currently, he is bartending closer to home in Brooklyn, at Toby Cecchini’s bar industry hot spot, The Long Island Bar as well as giving education seminars about one of his favorite spirits, Chartreuse. If not working, you can probably find KJ at Prospect Park with his beloved German Shephard, Phoenix.

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