What do you get when you mix a pharmacist and a bartender? Julian Goglia, barkeep and co-owner of The Pinewood Tippling Room and The Mercury. And why not? Crafting cocktails is part science — not to mention most classic imbibes began their lives as medicinal toddies in the days before penicillin and Advil.
For Goglia, the transition from compounding pharmacies to cocktails was simply switching one set of basic formulas for another. That, and quitting pharmaceuticals on a whim after six years to take a six-month motorcycle tour de cocktail up and down the East Coast with a few buddies. A stint behind the bar at H. Harper Station under mentor and master barman Jerry Slater and a chance meeting with future business partner Brooks Cloud, and the formula for one of Atlanta's most beloved and successful barmen came together.
Since joining The Pinewood in 2012, Goglia has made it his mission to bring hospitality and housemade ingredients back to cocktails. His friendly smile, relaxed demeanor, and modern approach to the classics have allowed him to mix his nerdy side with his personable side. This combination has endeared him to his Atlanta regulars who he lives to entertain at The Pinewood and catapulted his homage to mid-century cocktail culture at The Mercury.
Where does a bar-owning, motorcycling ex-pharmacist with a love for brown spirits like to sip classic cocktails around Atlanta?
Octopus Bar is always a great staple for late-night dining and drinks.
Mike, Brooks, and I have made some pretty important decisions while drinking at The Righteous Room. It's always felt like our second office.
If I'm not working at Mercury for Merc Monday or at Pinewood for Whiskey Wednesday, you can probably catch us relaxing with half-priced bottles of wine at Barcelona.
Place for drinking and dining
Bar where you're a regular
We live in Castleberry Hill so Bottle Rocket has to put up with us fairly often. Hey, Josh!
Top three bars not mentioned above
Out-of-town fave (regional)
Bar: French 75 [in New Orleans].
Food: Fig [in Charleston] or Cochon [in New Orleans].
Both: The Grey [in Savannah].
Out-of-town fave (national)
Del Posto in New York. Julia and I ate there the night we got engaged, a day before our Georgia Grown James Beard Dinner. Four thumbs up.
Go-to cocktail order
Whiskey and water or wine. Does wine count? Fine, just give me a Mai Tai.
Under-the-radar bartender to watch
There are numerous creative minds behind the stick here in Atlanta and a pretty large list of individuals I deeply respect but hardly see mentioned. John Wayne (The Pinewood), Patrick Kuhen (The Mercury), Tanner Holt Pierce (Kimball House), Chris Sturdivant (Cakes & Ale), Bobby Dudley (SOS Tiki), Eric Long (Pinewood/Mercury), Alejandra Dudley (Empire State South), and many more are all doing amazing jobs to keep our city's watering holes on the map.