Brandon Phillips, Barman/Partner at The Duck Inn, a Michelin-rated dining venue in Chicago, IL that boasts an award-winning cocktail program, and at Chicago’s brand new Italian-inspired cocktail bar, Otto Mezzo, has spent the last half-decade perfecting his craft behind the bar.
Upon completing a rigorous apprenticeship at one of Chicago’s most renowned cocktail bars, The Drawing Room, in 2014, Phillips earned the title of Master Bartender catching the eye of industry professionals all over the country, including Chef Kevin Hickey of Rockit Ranch Productions. Serving as Head Barkeep, Phillips would, one year later, open Bottlefork with Hickey, a stylish New American concept in Chicago that was almost immediately heralded by Wine Spectator & GQ Magazine as having some of the most innovative cocktails in the city.
Inspired by the success of their first partnership, Phillips & Hickey opened The Duck Inn in 2014, which would later be named one of the “10 hottest Bars in Chicago”, as well as given numerous “Best Restaurant” accolades from publications such as Eater Chicago, Esquire Magazine and USA Today.
Phillips went on to represent the United States in the 2015 Global Beefeater MIXLDN Competition where he triumphed against 30 finalists from around the world with his “Hackney Handshake” cocktail. Recently included in Zagat’s prestigious annual 30 Under 30 roundup, Phillips was also honored by The Chicago Tribune which named him “Bartender of the Year” in 2016.
Inspired by Italian art and cinema – including Federico Fellini’s film, Otto e Mezzo – and an array of Italian jazz and hip-hop music, Phillips’ latest concept, Otto Mezzo, slated to open in Spring 2017, will feature an enormous selection of Italian spirits, innovative cocktails, a rotating list of Italian beers, and wine curated by Phillips’ brother and renowned Sommelier, Michael Taylor.