Michael J. Neff, a 20-year craft cocktail veteran, bartender and entrepreneur, is currently Bar Director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge, the newly-restored haunt of Madonna, Sinatra, Keith Richards and Trotsky. Featured in media across the country as a cocktail haven with dive-bar sensibilities, the Holiday was recently listed as one of Thrillist’s “Rebels Who Are Changing the Way We Drink.”
In 2009 he opened Ward III, followed by The Rum House in Times Square, both bars which introduced cocktails to their respective Manhattan neighborhoods. Upon relocating back to his native California from New York in 2013, Michael established himself as a key figure in the West Coast cocktail scene, spearheading five distinct bars and programs at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Downtown Los Angeles. He also revived the storied Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge, LA Weekly’s “Best Bar in Hollywood 2014.” He splits his time and energy between both coasts.
Michael has worked extensively with spirits brands from around the world, and is currently the Director of Education (West Coast) for Brooklyn Gin. He has also written extensively about spirits and cocktails, and has been featured in publications as diverse as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ Magazine and Esquire Korea, as well as a regular column in Serious Eats.