Chef Erick Castro of Rickhouse - Biography

San Francisco, CA

June 2010

Erick Castro worked in restaurants from a young age and quickly observed that all the action was behind the bar. He started tending bar in college and found that not only did he enjoy making drinks, it also paid well. After he got his degree from San Diego State he started looking for a job and discovered the world of cocktails. For the first four years of his bartending career Castro worked in high-volume bars and restaurants where he learned how to be fast, efficient, and organized.

But Castro got the bug for well-crafted cocktails and moved to San Francisco in 2007 where he worked in influential establishments like Heaven’s Dog and Bourbon & Branch. He describes his cocktail style as “vintage minimalist” with a distinct emphasis on the classics. But Castro isn’t just into Prohibition-era classics; he likes to go even further back, searching for obscure recipes and using primarily methods and ingredients from a century ago.

After earning his chops at Bourbon & Branch, Castro was assigned the beverage director position at its newest sister bar, Rickhouse. Since it opened in June of 2009, and under the direction of Castro, Rickhouse has been named one of the World’s Top Bars by Food & Wine magazine. Recently, it also won The Cheers: Benchmark Award for Top Cocktail Lounge 2010.