Matthew Lickona 7 a.m., April 26
Pick & Rocks Emerge from Snake Oil Shake-Up
Mixed drink consultancy Snake Oil Cocktail Company came out of nowhere and quickly raised the bar for mixology around San Diego through contracts with restaurants such as Whisknladle and Gaijin Sake & Noodle House. Armed with encyclopedic knowledge of spirits, their origins, their profiles, and uses, they racked up clients, and garnered the attention of event organizers across the country. Soon, they had a stacked portfolio of accounts, and were traveling to-and-fro demonstrating modern mixology techniques for industry and everyday people alike.
Snake Oil’s trio of founding partners consisted of Lucien Conner, Ian Ward, and Mike Esposito. Effective immediately, the business is now solely owned by the latter. Conner and Ward sold their part of the business to him. But this is not last call for those two. Far from it. They are teaming with Jen Queen, a former Snake Oil mixologist that was brought on as the company’s fourth partner several months ago, to start a new business.
That venture—another cocktail consulting firm—will be called Pick & Rocks Cocktails. Their first clients will be Enlightened Hospitality Group’s “fabric of social dining” restaurants Burlap, Gabardine, Gingham, Herringbone, Searsucker San Diego, and Searsucker Scottsdale. All, with the exception of the not-yet-open Arizona venue, were customers of Snake Oil up until this latest ripple in the local tipple scene.