Mixologist Bob McCoy of Island Creek Oyster Bar - Biography

Boston, MA

August 2011

Bob McCoy’s beginnings as a bartender go hand-in-hand with his personal lineage. McCoy grew up in the business, spending early Thanksgivings at his grandparent's catering hall and Christmas' at his uncle's restaurant, where his dad ran the bar. At an early age, McCoy was able to absorb the nature and culture of hospitality, and was forever hooked. In the summer after his first year of college, his father trained him behind the bar of his uncle’s restaurant, The 621 Tavern and Grille, imparting lessons that proved essential to the bartender he is today. McCoy spent the following three summers tending bar on Block Island, and after graduation worked the next seven years at Brenden Crocker’s Wild Horse Cafe in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Having become increasingly curious about an apparent cocktail revival in Boston, in the summer of 2007 McCoy walked through the doors of Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks for an interview with Jackson Cannon. Desperate for a bartender in the midst of what would become a Red Sox Championship season, Cannon still made him come in for four separate interviews before hiring him: a symbol of the uncompromising commitment toward excellence he would learn to embody.

Under Cannon’s guidance and surrounded by an all-star team, McCoy worked his way to Principal Bartender at ES before being promoted to Head Bartender, and later Bar Manager, of the group’s next venture, Island Creek Oyster Bar. There, he led a team while helping create a bar program focused on local products, seasonal produce, and aperitif-driven cocktails. In January of 2012, McCoy was given the opportunity to return to the bar at Eastern Standard while assuming a new role as Beverage Programs Liaison, working closely with ES, ICOB, and, most recently, The Hawthorne, to further develop and connect the evolving cocktail cultures of all three.