These days, the art of bartending has become an obscure one. People who make drinks, pour beers and make change? They’re everywhere. But to sit down in front of a real bartender who can mix a drink, anticipate the next and send you on your way with a bit of advice? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Doug Quinn is the shiniest needle—the stuff of movies. He even has his own set of laws.
Until last June, Quinn—a New York native and a Vassar graduate—had been a constant presence behind the bar of the original P.J. Clarke’s for nearly nine years. He quickly became well-known for his ability to divine a barfly’s fancy before he could make a request, all while simultaneously tending to the crowd three deep and beyond, unruffled and impeccably bowtied. Just as rare as the Quinn breed of bartender is the old-school New York saloon, so it seems apt that the city’s beloved barkeep should open Hudson Malone (named for his two sons), a joint devoted to the spirit of New York’s legendary watering holes—epic mahogany bar, jukebox and lobster tails included. And it’s guaranteed to always be great because—according to the Law of Quinn—”mediocrity sucks.”