It’s becoming increasingly clear that no new restaurant in Charleston can be complete without a solid bar and a signature cocktail. According to Hey Bartender, a new documentary by 4th Row Films, that’s because we’re in the midst of a worldwide cocktail renaissance. The film follows two bartenders leading up to and during the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans. First, and featured most prominently, is Steve Schneider, a former Marine who became a mixologist after an injury from a bar fight cut his military career short. Schneider rapidly climbed the New York City bartending food chain to become an apprentice at the world-famous Employees Only. The Big City scene is contrasted with a small-town bar in Connecticut, Steve Carpentieri’s Dunvilles. By contrasting Dunville’s descent with Employee’s Only’s continued growth and acclaim, award-winning director Douglas Tirola makes sure that his film offers a compelling argument in favor of the cocktail trend.
Hey Bartender will be making a week-long stop in Charleston, playing at the Terrace Theatre from June 21-27. On June 26, Tirola will be at Terrace along with Charlotte Voisey, the brand ambassador for William Grant and Sons and one of the film’s commentators. Following the showing, Tirola and Voisey will hang around for a Q&A session and, we can only assume, a drink.