Behind the Bar: The Making of Emerald Cocktail Kitchen in Syracuse

Hi everyone! I’m Michele, co-owner of Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, your local cocktail bar in the heart of Syracuse, NY. I’m excited to share a slice of my life and the story behind Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, or ECK as we fondly call it. These blog posts are from my personal lens—raw and real, minus the curse words, which somehow feel odd in writing.

A Little Bit About Me

Born and raised on Tipperary Hill (Tipp Hill), my school years were spent at St. Patrick’s School and Bishop Ludden before I ventured off to The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, for my undergrad. Interestingly, two of those schools have since closed, a poor indication from my educational journey.

Fast forward to 2015, my mom, Nora, and I opened The Brasserie Bar & Bistro in Camillus, New York. Then, in June 2023, we launched Emerald Cocktail Kitchen. My greatest achievement, though, is being a mom to an incredibly lively and spirited boy, with our home just outside of Tipp Hill.

My Passion for Creation

Bars and restaurants are in my blood, but it’s the thrill of creation that really drives me—crafting new menus, organizing events, or redesigning spaces, and then bringing these visions to life. I thrive on the connections these spaces foster, whether with patrons at Emerald Cocktail Kitchen or team members at The Brasserie Bar & Bistro. Each venue reflects different chapters of my life: The Brasserie embodies my early 20s as a young entrepreneur, while Emerald Cocktail Kitchen showcases my maturing, 30s palette.

What’s in store for my 40s? TBD.

Life Outside the Cocktail Bar

Let’s be honest, running small businesses, especially a cocktail bar and a bistro, consumes most of my time. However, when I do manage to steal a moment for myself, I’m likely devouring a book in a single day, indulging in the latest obsession of my son, exploring Syracuse’s dining scene, or binge-watching beloved series like The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, and Below Deck.

Thanks for stopping by to get to know me a bit better. Whether my stories spark a bit of entertainment or offer some insight into the life behind Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, I appreciate your time. Here’s to many more shared moments and cocktails at your new go-to spot on Tipp Hill!

– Michele