Changing of the Guard as mixologist Mike Henderson leaves TAG

For the past year, under sexy lighting in TAG's chic modern dining room, Troy Guard has put out his particular brand of East meets West fusion,while Mike Henderson and his staff of mixologists craft equally flashy spirits concoctions to pair.

There's a changing of the guard under way, though: Henderson has put in his notice.

"Mike's been with us since the beginning," says Leigh Sullivan-Guard, Troy's wife, who, together with her husband, worked with Francesco Lanfraconi, director of mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, to find Henderson. "He's helped us define our spirits program and give it vision. But now we have the opportunity to dial it in and take it to the next level."

Henderson's departure will coincide with the exit of another TAG bartender, Jared Boller, who's leaving the restaurant to pursue mixology in New York City.

"The opportunity to pursue my own thing presented itself, and I have to go for it at this point," says Henderson, who joins the sudden rash of Front Range mixologists with their own projects on their plates.

He won't yet share where he's headed after his last day at the restaurant in mid-June, but the Guards don't seem worried, noting that they're seeking someone innovative and new to fill the barman's shoes.

"We wish him nothing but success," says Sullivan-Guard. "At TAG, we've got a hell of a stage to showcase big talent. We're excited for what's next."

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