Recognized as one of the city’s great hospitality pioneers, CH PROJECTS is responsible for catapulting San Diego’s cocktail scene into the national spotlight with their artillery of respected cocktail concepts (Craft & Commerce, Polite Provisions, Noble Experiment). CH’s accolades boast many of the industry's top honors, and the collective’s leading barkeeps, Erick Castro (Polite Provisions), Anthony Schmidt (Rare Form) and CH Co-Founder Nathan Stanton are celebrated as innovators and educators in their field having blazed a trail in San Diego, opening doors for a great legacy to follow.
Enter TREVOR EASTER — it was nearly 10 years ago that Easter joined forces with fellow cocktail aficionados, the Stanton brothers, Ryan Kuntz (El Dorado) and Anthony Schmidt to formulate the Leisure Society—a unique and raucous group of then unknown influencers trying to create a distinctive drinking culture in San Diego. Shortly before the group launched El Dorado Cocktail Lounge in downtown’s East Village neighborhood in 2009, Easter made the decision to migrate north to Sacramento, where he cut his teeth on high volume, old school classic cocktails at one of Sacramento’s spirit havens, the Shady Lady Saloon (“Best Bars in America”, Esquire Magazine 2014).
From that moment on, Easter was hooked on bartending as a profession and continued to quench his curiosity with frequent trips to San Francisco, where burgeoning cocktail bars like Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch were making headlines as industry pioneers. His enthusiasm eventually led to a position at under Erick Castro, then bar manager of Rickhouse (Food & Wine’s “Best Bars in the World” in 2010), who groomed Easter to become the succeeding bar manager upon Castro’s departure. Conquering a steep and swift learning curve, shortly thereafter, Easter led the SF bar to being honored by Tales of the Cocktail’s Annual Spirited Awards as the “Best High Volume Bar” in the U.S. in 2011 – marking the first time that a West Coast bar was awarded in any category.
Eager for new challenges, Easter blitzed through a handful of San Francisco bars including Bourbon & Branch, Wilson & Wilson Detective Agency, 15 Romolo, Churchill, and eventually Heaven’s Dog—where he’d meet and train under his mentor, the legendary Erik Adkins, to become the bar manager of Heaven’s Dog in 2012.
All told, Easter’s self-made cocktail crash course involved working at eight different bars in about three years, then ascending to West Coast brand ambassador for Beefeater & Plymouth Gin (following once again in Erick Castro’s footsteps)—where he travelled the globe visiting distilleries, identifying bar and cocktail trends, learning about the history of spirits and conducting educational seminars.
Trevor Easter’s end game, however, was always to bring the knowledge he gained back to his San Diego hometown. He’s now done just that and becomes part of the explosive growth taking place in San Diego’s cocktail landscape. Trevor’s philosophies are the ultimate distillation of those happening in California’s southernmost city: prize and highlight fresh produce, and take classic, simple drinks to create mindful twists that entice and educate an entirely new generation of cocktail drinkers.