After working at downtown cocktail bar The Gin Joint for four years, beverage director James Bolt moved to become the owner of the establishment. On August 16, Bolt officially signed the papers to purchase Grand Crew LLC, which the East Bay bar operates under.
"As someone with a culinary background who got the chance to bartend at The Gin Joint, I was fortunate enough to combine both skills as the bar's beverage director,” says Bolt, “That leads me in to why I wanted to buy the bar. The creativity of our cocktails and what it means to our customers was important to me and I wanted to keep that going."
Bolt wants fans of The Gin Joint know that the establishment will operate the same way it has for the past seven years. He wants to move the bar forward with the slogan “drink proper” in mind.
The Gin Joint was one of the first cocktail bars to open in Charleston on August 25, 2010, after the repeal of the mini-bottle law. In 2015, original owners MariElena and Joe Reya said they opened the bar because, “We want to make cool drinks, because we like cool drinks, and we want to treat people well.” Today, the Reyas will concentrate on their mixer company Bittermilk and their three children. “We are very excited to pass the torch knowing that he is well aware of the amount or work and creativity is required to be successful,” says Joe, “We are excited to watch The Gin Joint grow as well as enjoy a cocktail from the other side of the bar.”
Bolt is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the 2017 winner of Charleston Wine + Food’s Iron Mixologist competition.
• Five Years of Craft Cocktails and Zero Vodka at The Gin Joint [ECHS]
• Bittermilk [Official]