Per a press release this morning, John Gertsen has been promoted to "spirits & hospitality ambassador" for BL Gruppo. Ezra Star is stepping into his old role as Drink's GM. Despite relocating to San Francisco, Gertsen "will oversee the cocktail programs at Gruppo properties including Drink, No.9 Park, Menton, and Sportello, as well as the Barbara Lynch Foundation’s annual Toques & Tonic culinary charity event with regular trips back to Boston."
I'm sure Star will be a very capable GM at Drink. But I can't help feeling like this is a huge loss to Boston's craft cocktail community. I imagine Gertsen himself drove this change, and I certainly wish him the best. He's leaving behind a huge, enduring mark on Boston's cocktail scene, not just in what he accomplished at No. 9 and Drink, but on all the bartenders who have blossomed in those programs and gone on to open or remake other good bars. Still, I'm still sad about the transition.