Friday, September 21, 2012

Paul Calvert heads to team Victory, changes at Pura Vida

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Paul Calvert leaves Pura Vida, Victory bound
  • James Camp
  • VICTORY BOUND: Paul Calvert named Beverage Director at Victory Sandwich

Paul Calvert, CL's Best Bartender in 2011, has left his post behind the bar at Pura Vida Tapas to focus on a new collaboration with the team behind Victory Sandwich Bar. "While we, of course, were sad to see Paul go, we wish him well in the new endeavor," Pura Vida co-owner Leslie Santiago tells CL.

Calvert's "new endeavor" lies with Inman Park's favorite $4 sandwich-slingin', Jack and Coke slushie-swillin' watering hole, Victory Sandwich Bar, where he'll take on the role of Beverage Director. While there are no plans for Calvert to pick up shifts behind the bar at Victory, expect to see some new additions to the bar's cocktail, spirit, beer, and wine menus in coming weeks.

Co-owner Ian Jones says he's very excited to have Calvert on board as their new "beverage boss."

More after the jump

"He will be an integral part of a new concept for us, as well as contributing to the overall Victory program," Jones says. "Plus this way I can drink all of his awesome cocktails whenever I want."

In the midst of transition, Calvert reflects on the year-or-so he spent revamping the cocktails at Pura Vida. "I had a great time there and I'm very grateful that they brought me on to update their bar program. I'm sure it will remain high quality in the future."

Looking forward, Calvert says he's very excited to step into his role as Victory's new Beverage Director. In fact, he's has already begun tinkering with Victory's drink menu — several cocktails on the current list are Calvert's recipes.

Fans of Victory's current repertoire, however, needn't worry. Calvert assures us that there will still be slushies and cheap beer at the ready at both Victory Inman Park and the bar's forthcoming second location in Decatur.

"Victory won't change much because it's certainly not broken," he says, "It's very successful as is." (More details to come on Victory in Decatur and other fun things Jones and business partner Caleb Wheelus have planned for the future).

Back at Pura Vida, Santiago says they intend to pick up where Calvert left off.

"We have Bradford [Tolleson] & Raul [Aparcana], both of whom have been here for several years, and have had a year to learn from Paul."

A few weeks ago, Tolleson took first place at the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival's "Maker's & Shakers" cocktail competition, and, Santiago says, recently earned himself a spot among the four finalists for the 2012 Taste of Atlanta Barcraft Competition. (Last year, Tyler Nelson of Leon's Full Service won the competition with his Tequila-based Luchador Cocktail.) Keep an eye out for Pura Vida's fall cocktail menu next month.

H/T to Eat it, Atlanta for bringing the news of Calvert's departure to our attention earlier this month.

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