Bartender, Mixologist, Producer
About Eric Alperin
Eric Alperin’s first experience behind the stick was at The Screening Room in NYC. He later found himself at Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Michelin-starred Lupa, before landing at Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey and Little Branch – experiences that would change his life. In Los Angeles, Eric created and managed Osteria Mozza’s liquor and cocktail program as part of the initial team. A year later, he opened The Varnish in downtown LA – a bar he co-owns and operates with Sasha Petraske and Cedd Moses. In 2012, The Varnish won Best American Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail and was a finalist for World’s Best Bar. Eric was also a finalist for Best American Bartender. In 2013, The Varnish received a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Bar Program and was a Tales of the Cocktail finalist for World’s Best Bar. Eric was a finalist once again for Best American Bartender. In 2014, The Varnish received a second James Beard nomination for Outstanding Bar Program. Also in 2014, Eric’s bar Half Step in Austin, Texas was nominated for a Spirited Award for Best New American Cocktail Bar. In 2017, Half Step was named one of Esquire Magazine's "Best Bars in America." Also in 2017, Eric opened Bar Clacson and The Slipper Clutch – two sister bars in Downtown LA – in partnership with Richard Boccato (Dutch Kills, Fresh Kills; New York) and 213 Hospitality. In addition, Eric is acting Beverage Director for 213 Hospitality, and a co-owner of Penny Pound Ice. Eric has been profiled in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, LA Weekly, Imbibe and Vogue (to name a few) and has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Layover,” Esquire Network’s “Best Bars in America,” NBC News and in Douglas Tirola’s feature film “Hey Bartender.” But what he really wants to do is write a book.