Eli Shapiro was born and raised in Lexington, MA before heading off to UConn where he earned his degree in Political Science. After graduating, Eli first worked in the Boston area at Babson college planning alumni events, which helped guide his passion for hospitality.
Simultaneously, Eli got first got involved in the bar and restaurant world by planning and hosting a weekly get-together event at a local bar in Allston, MA. Eli’s fun loving, social nature paired with his ability to create memorable experiences made his night a must visit for his ever growing list of friends.
Having gotten an intoxicating taste of the industry, Eli was recruited into the hospitality world at one of the venues where he started at the door. This was a perfect match at the time given his outgoing personality and attention to detail. He was eventually cross trained as a barback and began helping support the bartenders and learning more about the workd of bar tending. Eli showed his intellectual curiosity for the bar scene, quickly learning from the bartenders and studying on his own time to move up. He refused to be outhustled, always moving, prepping, and setting the bar up for success. When he got the chance to step into a bartender role, there was no looking back.
One of the truest signs of a great barman is his ability to engage his guests. Eli’s remarkably creative mind along with his ability to bring levity to any situation endeared his guests to him and he began building a loyal following of regulars.
Determined to continue his growth, Eli began to work at several bars around the city, each offering a different perspective and scene for Eli to learn from. His impressive resume includes barbacking, bartending, and coordinating bottle service at some of Boston’s premier bars and nightlife venues including Splash Ultra Lounge, Ocean Club, Paradise Rock Club, Bright Music Hall, Bijou Nightclub and Pier 6. Through his experiences, Eli became well-rounded in his skillset and knowledge base whether it was hustling through a crazy Saturday night at a busy nightclub or crafting gorgeous, craveable craft cocktails at an upscale restaurant.
Eli got his first opportunity to take creative control of a bar program with the opening of Rail Stop in Allston, MA. It was here that Eli got to “pour” his passion and creative efforts into a stand out menu. With a focus on sustainability and in-house preparation, Eli built a cocktail list to be proud of. Each drink had a story, a standout visual element and of course, a flavor profile that made instant fans out of first time guests and solidified relationships with regulars. Whether it was the dozens of colorful homemade bitters beautifully displayed across the bar, the delicious complexity of oak cask aged spirits, the “instagrammable” garnishes or the pure respect for proper technique in preparation, Eli made it unmistakably known that he wasn’t merely a barman, but an artist.
It didn’t take long for Eli to be widely recognized for his program taking the top prize in competitions hosted by Liquor.com, Thirsty Magazine and United Liquor among others. His Old Fashioned became legendary, twice being named the best in Boston. Eli evolved into a face of the Boston cocktail scene as he was a repeat featured presenter at the New England Food amd Beverage show. Before long, some of the top brands in the industry took notice of Eli’s talents as he served as a brand consultant to Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniels, Red Bull, Woodford Reserve and Hornitos.
As accolades and opportunities flowed in, Eli maintained a commitment to learn more and made it his mission to travel and grow from some of the great masters in the industry. Through his journeys, Eli got the chance to travel to Mexico to learn about the agave plant and the components of a superior tequila. He ventured to Kentucky where he met masters of the age old tradition of Bourbon production and the intricacies of the oak barrel aging process. With each trip he made, he returned armed with more knowledge and shared his lessons with his team and applied to his menus.
Eli has remained committed to honing his craft and learning more about unique spirits, craft beers, and the emerging cannabis industry. You can always find him testing out new infusions and studying differing methods of innovative and interesting molecular gastronomy methods that help create a memorable experience for his guests. Anyone that has ever been to Eli’s bars knows his passion for memory making through exciting flavors, unique garnishes and creative pairings.
It is hard to find someone with who genuinely cares about delighting guests as much as Eli. He really understands the value of building regulars in a business. If he doesn’t already know the guests walking through the doors, he will know them before they leave and will find out how to get them to come back in. Even better, as a leader he teaches and encourages this with his team which he empowers to “break the rules to make a friend”.
In early 2021, Eli joined forces with the team at AMP Up1 Hospitality and The 3rd Spot™️ as a Managing Partner overseeing Liquid Innovation. Eli’s incredible drive, unmatched knowledge and positive spirit are a perfect fit for the company’s mission of building connection and community. His unique ability to marry quality, speed, and character into his cocktails while also leading a bar team who understands having fun and building connection with guests, makes for a truly special combination.
AMP UP1 Hospitality | © 2021