It may be Manhattan’s largest cocktail event, but a Boston-based company is the star of the show. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) takes place this weekend in New York, with over 100 events across the city in five days, honoring the liquor industry with 100,000 cocktails. OntheBar, the app that allows locals to connect with their favorite bartenders, has designed a customized MCC app that will help attendees sort though the “merriment and mayhem” of the event.
We grabbed a few minutes with OntheBar’s founder Ian Stanczyk to discuss how they became the powerhouse behind the second largest national event for the cocktail industry, and what impact that will have on Boston’s scene. Stanczyk also threw in a sincere apology to his girlfriend. This is worth the read for that alone.
Why is MCC important?
The MCC is one part celebration, one part trade conference for the spirits industry. Folks are coming from all over the country to celebrate what the industry has dubbed the ‘cocktail revolution’ – that is, sophisticated drinking’s move into the mainstream, and adjectives like ‘fresh’, ‘craft’, ‘artisan’ and ‘professional’ making their way from kitchen to the bar room. It’s a real trend that you can see in every new restaurant opening. In many ways, the market is following, culturally, in the footsteps of the celebrity-chef movement that has so successfully ensnared pop-culture over the last decade. Eventually, it’s going to tip – and we’ll be there to catch it.
Who attends MCC?
All the movers and shakers of the liquor industry from big brands and craft distillers to restaurateurs, bartenders, and, of course, the socialites of NYC. It’s exactly the market segments we need to reach, all in one place, at the same time, using our app the get around.
How did OntheBar get involved?
We’ve been talking with the organizers for months about doing something together. It’s an obvious fit – we can provide huge value for the event, and the event can provide huge exposure for us within the industry. We sealed the deal about a month ago, and then Anthony Roldan, our other developer, and I went into furious development to get a quality product built in just a few weeks. I’ve hardly seen the light of day. My girlfriend hates me.
What’s your role in MCC?
We’re playing a crucial role. We’ve replaced what would have been a printed guide/program for the five-day festival. Events are spread out all over NYC. Attendees will be using our app to get around, find events, people and specific brands.
What experience are you hoping users get out of using OntheBar at MCC?
Well, first and foremost, I hope everyone has a killer time that we help facilitate. This is our first major promotional event so, in many ways, this is kind of an introduction to the broader industry outside of Boston. So, I hope people within the spirits industry see the value in the platform we’re creating as a trade marketing channel and also as a consumer product that can drive business and influence choice via personal relationships and recommendations. If you can’t trust your favorite bartender on which type of gin to drink, who can you trust? Probably not Grandma…well, maybe Grandma.
Do you plan on doing any events like MCC in Boston?
Yes, absolutely. Boston is our home, of course. As a result of this partnership, we’ve built out the beginnings of an events platform for the industry, and that’s precisely how brands market themselves to restaurant owners and staff – they throw events. Specifically, the good people of The Greater Boston Beverage Society are throwing the first annual Boston Cocktail Summit this fall. We’ll definitely be involved.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
You rock… and you can print that… Please, print that.