Imagine challenging a bartender to serve the best Long Island you’ve ever tasted, and then being met with a drink that’s not just perfectly balanced, but truly exquisite, served with a clever pun from a short, bearded guy in a loudly patterned shirt.
That’s Matt Grushky for you.
And if you’re in the mood for something classic with a twist, just wait till you see his wildly garnished Negroni. Behind every drink he crafts, there’s a rich story.
Born in West Bloomfield, Matt’s early life was all about family. Playful days with his two brothers, board games, and their culinary adventures together laid the foundation for his passion for creating and sharing experiences.
Diving into film at the Motion Picture Institute was his first professional pursuit. Yet, the roller coaster of life, marked by personal trials like his father’s passing, led him to different avenues.
The cafe at Barnes & Noble marked his initiation into beverages, but it was at Starbucks in 2014 that Matt truly made his mark, ascending the ranks to become a revered ‘Coffee Master’. More than just making a cuppa, he was the voice and spirit behind regional coffee seminars.
Bartending, however, was another calling he was about to discover. At Barrio in Plymouth, he found the parallels between coffee and the world of spirits intriguing. Tequila, with its grades and regions, became an obsession. And soon, the spiral of addiction sucked him in.
“For too long I was trying to have my cake and eat it too,” he says. “I wanted to be the best of the best, but also go as hard as I was going. And I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Choosing sobriety for himself in 2019 wasn’t just a personal choice; it was a rediscovery of his roots and the reasons for his foray into hospitality.
By October 2022, Matt was showcasing his expertise at Framebar. As a sober bartender, his focus remained on the art of the drink and the experience of the guest.
“Landing here at Framebar and having that constant refresh is challenging in all of the right ways,” he says. “It sort of reinforced my ability to do this. But also the relationships that we have in Framebar with our recurring regulars are some of the best regular experiences I’ve ever had.”
Matt isn’t just a bartender; he’s an experience creator, weaving tales in every glass he pours.
Follow FRAMEbar Head Bartender Matt Grushky on Instagram: @mattgrushkyt