Old Fashioneds and Date Nights With Moonlight Mile’s Garry Embry

When he opened Moonlight Mile in Greenpoint last winter, first time owner Garry Embry wanted a fun place for people to hang out, a place without pretense – and lots of American whiskey (over 150 varieties, in fact). Now, the place is a local favorite and for good reason. We caught up with Embry about his favorite places to hang out, his coffee habit and hangover tips and his go-to restaurant for a romantic night out with his wife.

Favorite NYC place to hang out over a drink when you’re not working?

Habitat in Greenpoint. Good beer. Great food. Awesome people.

What is your go-to drink when you are out?

Most times I like a good beer, and like to try new brews. I also love to try different whiskey creations when I see a cocktail that grabs my attention.  Finally, I will try an Old Fashioned at most places. Love that cocktail.

What was your first job in the industry?

This is my first one! Opening my own bar.

What was your A-H-A moment, like when was there a moment when you realized that this was absolutely for you?

When my wife and I decided we wanted to open up our own business and create a place that combines the things we are passionate about: whiskey, beer and music.

Do you have a mentor, or someone that you look up to in the industry?

Mike Kuntz from Louisville, KY (founder of the Bourbon Chase)

Do you drink coffee or Tea? Where do you go and how many times a week?

Coffee and lots of it. We always have a pot on and ready.

What’s your hangover remedy?

Water, ibuprofen and sleep. The only real thing that helps, besides the obvious of just not drinking too much to begin with..

So what are you into right now when it comes to cocktails?

I really like trying and experimenting with different combinations.  We have been very creative with habanero syrup. We found a great local one from Purely and we love working with it to give a cocktail a kick.

When you are creating cocktails do you think of the liquor you want to use first or the taste that you are going for? Like what is your process? 

Our process is a collaboration of things.  We think of what type of cocktail we want or one that fits a customer’s need, and then we work backwards from there. Once we know what the customer wants, then we look for fit with what we do, and ask if it is true to our identity?

What is your favorite spot when you want to be low-key or date?  

Love Bianca. A small Italian restaurant on the Lower East Side. It’s perfect for a low key romantic night with my wife.

Hidden NYC gems or dive bars.  

It’s not really a dive but I do love the Brouwerij Lane in Greenpoint. Great beers, and good people. I have always loved Tortilla Flats on West 12th. Especially in the early afternoon, before it gets too crowded later one.

What are you most proud of in your career thus far?  

We have a high standard for how we treat people and the level of customer service you get in our place.  Our customers have responded by giving us great reviews. We have a great whiskey list and cocktail program and pride ourselves on not being a scene or pretentious place.  We are what we are, which is people who are very passionate about American Whiskey, Beer and good music. It is a people business.

Anything else that you would like to tell us, what is next for you project, like what are you working on these days?  

We are working on spreading the news of what The Moonlight Mile is all about, and why customers should give us a try and why we believe they will leave happy. We want to continue to create a place where the customer feels appreciated, valued and wanted. While we provide a great product for them (ones we are very passionate about).

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