Thomas Kunick—Downtown’s new barman
Wed, Dec 23, 2009 (5:44 p.m.)
Photo: Bill Hughes
Hometown: L’Anse, MI
Profession: Bartender/mixologist, Downtown Cocktail Room
Profile: A friendly new face behind the stick at Downtown Cocktail Room, Kunick joins his new crew after four and a half years at the Artisan Lounge. Kunick left the Detroit area’s auto industry five years ago, attended bartending school and was immediately hired by the Artisan. But his bar of choice for drinking was always DCR, which he loved for its reputation, vision and how seriously DCR takes mixology. Kunick says since taking the leap, he’s enjoying the freedom and motivation to explore new spirits and techniques. “I’ve learned to embrace the classic cocktail and that has been the biggest progression for me.”
Why I Do What I Do: “I had no interest in bartending when I got into it, to be honest, but it’s proved to be really fun and it has a lot of challenges. It’s proven to be a very fulfilling job. It’s a party every night.”
Personal Tidbit: Like his father and his grandfather, Kunick picked up the hobby of woodworking. Most recently, Kunick completed a reading bench for his wife. That’s right—he can make you a cocktail and a bench.
What I’m listening to: The Howard Stern Show
Latest Accomplishment: Kunick recently got the go-ahead to commence work on the new mid-winter menu. Set to launch in mid-January, the new menu incorporates cocktails from the entire bartending team. Kunick is himself working on 10 cocktail submissions simultaneously, ones that incorporate organic and fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, tea and Kunick’s favorite—Bourbon.