I’ve wanted to own a bar since the moment I walked into 116 MacDougal Street, where I had my first New York City bartending gig 4 years ago. I found a calling of mine serving stiff drinks to deserving patrons and crafting conversation like castles of wet sand.

Since then, I’ve worked to create spaces to encourage imbibing anywhere  I can. From warehouses to water towers to trespassed hotel conference rooms. I say, if you have some booze and a slant in your smile, its a party.

But there’s nothing quite like the tropical pleasure of mixing margaritas at a watering hole in paradise, my own tiki speakeasy. Machete in hand, Pacific wind in my hair, I hacked away at coconuts all day long. The drink menu, designed by the Equilibrio team, was ripe with local fruit and homemade ingredients.

Cosmix infrastructure by me. Bar by Max McCann. Menu board by Jaclyn Atkinson.

Thank you to the Equilibrio team for giving me the opportunity to host this space, it was magic for me.

Arriving in El Salvador

My arrival in El Cuco, El Salvador was a whirlwind. I travelled through the night from the bitter cold of New York and set my purple combat boot-clad feet onto the glittering sand at exactly the moment the sun peeked above the horizon on Tuesday morning. From that point on, it was time to create.

I had been tasked with building out and running the area of Equilibrio called Cosmix, which included a tea room, trading post, and my specialty, a small bar on the beach – a tiki speakeasy, if you will.

I was immediately surrounded by inspiring friends. Old ones, who had conceived this magnificent event over the course of the past year. And new ones, volunteers, who worked tirelessly to make everything come together. This time, Rome almost was built in a day.