Mixologist George Costa of Pub & Kitchen - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

December 2012

Born into his family’s seafood restaurant in Ronkonkoma, New York, George Costa can remember earning his first tip at the age of five, a whopping quarter for serving a plate of fried fish. That set the stage for Costa’s long tenure in the service industry.

After working in the family business throughout his formidable teen years, Costa moved to Philadelphia in 1998, trading suburban doldrums for the city and, again, a job frying fish. Not long after, he landed a job as bar back at the 5-Spot, a popular swing dance club. Within a year, Costa had moved up the ranks to bartender and eventually general manger.

After leaving the 5-Spot, Costa pursued other paths in the hospitality industry, both in back-of-the-house positions and as general manager. But despite having covered almost every position in the restaurant, he always felt most comfortable behind the bar.

In 2004, Gosta opened Southwark as general manager and bartender with longtime friend and bartending mentor Kip Waide. Together they helped bring the craft cocktail scene to Philadelphia and gained national acclaim for their bar program. In 2011, after seven years behind the bar at Southwark, Costa left to sling drinks at Pub & Kitchen, one of Philadelphia’s most well-regarded dining destinations. In his year there, he has gained multiple accolades from local press including Philly Magazine “Best Bartender” for 2012 and Foobooz “Best Bar for 2012.” When not moving liquids you can find him hiding at home with his lovely wife Christine and daughter Beatrice. If he’s not there, he’s fishing; in fact, he’s probably fishing.