Owner/bartender, Curio at Harvest

Story by Shelley Mann // Photos by Jodi Miller

During Travis Owens' four-year tenure behind the bar, Giuseppe's Ritrovo went from being a popular neighborhood spot with above-average Italian fare to a destination for well-crafted cocktails.

It's a remarkable thing to build buzz around a 16-year-old restaurant in the suburbs, and Owens deserves much of the credit. Needless to say, we can't wait to see what he does with a place of his own. Owens will head up Curio at Harvest, a cocktail lounge attached to the city's hippest new pizza place.

After more than a decade spent bartending, Owens finally got the freedom at Giuseppe's to create the kinds of drinks he loves--Southern-influenced concoctions made with unusual liquors, housemade syrups and neat bitters.

At Curio, he plans to take a culinary approach to the drinks, using many of the same fresh herbs and locally grown produce found on Harvest's pizzas. Harvest owner Chris Crader has worked with Owens in the past, and he's stoked to have snagged him to run Curio.

"No one has been more passionate about cocktails in the city. In the country, really," Crader said. "He follows the same mantra we do with our pizzas--there's only a few ingredients in a pizza, so they have to be great."

Meanwhile, Owens' legacy will live on at Giuseppe's, where the crop of young bartenders he assembled, including rising star Kendyl Meadows, continues on.

Age: 37
Neighborhood: German Village
Previous gigs: Bartender at Giuseppe's, Eleven, Elevator

495 S. Fourth St., German Village