Two weeks ago, when I sat down with Matty Durgin, the bar manager of Adrift, a forthcoming tiki bar on South Broadway that's owned by Jay Dedrick and Brent Kimball, he couldn't have been more excited.
Durgin, who was bartending and hosting Tuesday tiki nights at Madison Street prior to coming on board Adrift to spearhead the rum-based cocktail program, told me at the time, "We have all the right people in place, and it's our mutual respect for one another, for the history of the tiki bar and for honoring the ingredients, that brought us all together."
But as of Wednesday, Durgin was no longer floating on the same raft as Adrift.
"It's short and sweet: We weren't in sync -- we were on different schedules -- and I'm no longer involved," says Durgin, who, just days before parting ways with Adrift, had returned from a stage at London's Trailer Happiness, one of the world's most popular tiki bars. "It's an amazing project, and I absolutely wish them the best and was really proud of the work I did for them," he adds.
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When I got Kimball on the horn earlier today, he lapsed into a rant about the obstacles of securing a liquor license for Adrift. "I've spoken to forty people at the city this morning, and the bureaucracy is insane," he told me. As for Durgin, Kimball would only say that "Matty has contributed a tremendous amount here, and we have a ton of admiration for him."
While Kimball gets his liquor-license issues sorted out, Durgin will focus on guest-bartending at Ghost Plate & Tap, which maintains a separate bar strictly to host Denver's best mixologists, and he's also planning to resurrect his tiki nights, some of which will pop up at Colt & Gray. "The owners of Adrift are moving forward, and so am I," concludes Durgin.