You could say Stephen Kurpinsky is a busy man. Along with being the bar manager at Hundred Proof in University Heights, he’s also the president of the San Diego chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild and in his spare time he consults with Nortico, a progressive speakeasy in Tijuana.
Kurpinsky is a big supporter of cross-border relationships in the hospitality industry and believes it helps elevate San Diego’s food and drink cultures.
Starting his career in his hometown of San Francisco, Kurpinsky has been behind the bar at such places as Blondie’s pizza near Union Square, The Lodge at Torrey Pines and George’s at the Cove’s Level2 in La Jolla and now runs the bar program at Hundred Proof.
He recently stopped by the PACIFIC office to record an episode of Kiss My Glass and along with his collaborations in Tijuana, here’s what he and host Edwin Real talked about in the podcast:
- Collaboration with Tijuana restaurant Oryx Capital and its speakeasy, Nortico
- Bringing craft cocktails to Tijuana
- What it’s like working alongside a great chef
- Learning food science first hand in back of house
- Creating cocktails by feel rather than science
- Acquiring talent and figuring out how to best use them
- Hundred Proof as a great bar with really good food
- Launching career in San Francisco at Blondie’s Pizza
- Growing from a time of flavored martinis and margarita machines
- Stint at Lodge at Torrey Pines
- Launching George’s Level 2 concept
- Creating Neighborhoods of San Diego cocktail book
- Leading the San Diego chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild
- Seeing success elsewhere in town is part of own success
- Where to drink around town
- A need for another vegan death metal bar/restaurant?
- The importance of the relationship between Tijuana and San Diego
- New menu coming out at Hundred Proof
- Guest bartender appearances
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Hundred Proof: 4130 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.6404, hundredproofsd.com
Kiss My Glass: The thoughtfulness of taking care of somebody (with Jason O’Bryan)