Brock Schulte takes over the bar program at the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange
Along with the news of Cleaver & Cork’s opening, we decided to check in with the Rieger to see what talent was being tapped to take over for Andrew Olsen’s vacant head bartending spot. The answer was a familiar one: Brock Schulte, who has been at the Rieger since it opened in 2010 (with a one-year absence September 2012-13), will be the James Beard Award-nominated restaurant’s newest head bartender.
“Howard [Hanna, chef and co-owner], Tony [Glamcevski, general manager] and I had just been talking about it forever,” Schulte says. “We had been shuffling responsibilities between each other, so instead of continuing to do that, it made sense for me to take over officially.”
For Schulte, formally accepting the position at the Rieger meant leaving a few other things. He’s no longer bartending at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar on the Plaza, and he is no longer the bar supervisor at Drum Room – though he still has an active role in Liquid Minded Concepts, the beverage consulting company he co-founded.
The bar program at the Rieger, Schulte says, will not be radically altered.
“We’re not really changing much. I’m just taking more of a lead,” he says. “We’re going to have the same drinks that we had before, but we’ll hopefully be doing a few more things. I’d like to do a lot more stuff with molecular-type things, making gelées and using the tools that we have for some exciting new things. Given the background that I have in chemistry and biology, I’d like to really get at the gastronomy that happens in the back of the house and put that flavor in the cocktails to really make them stand out.”
For Schulte, the Rieger couldn’t be a better fit.
“I’m excited because this position is going to allow me to spend more time at the Rieger, and that’s always been a part of my life,” he says. “Even when I wasn’t there, it’s always been my home, and I’m excited to be back and now lead it.”
You can find Schulte behind the bar at the Rieger on Monday, Friday and Saturday nights.