Something has been brewing in Huntington Beach where former MGM master mixologist, Kent Bearden, has established Saint Marc as a frontrunner in the food and beverage industry. Straying from traditional techniques in the wine, beer, and spirits industry, Saint Marc has gone above and beyond to ensure that patrons receive the best quality drinks and food while still maintaining a fun and casual atmosphere. Boasting a selection of 32 different wines, 15 beers—two domestic, two imports and 11 craft—and a generous selection of craft spirits Saint Marc also offers an assortment of what Bearden says is a personal twist on comfort food, styled from different geographic regions across America.
Since the day it opened Saint Marc has implemented a draft system for their wine selection that is normally used for beer in most bars and restaurants. This by-the-glass modus operandi has allowed Bearden and Saint Marc to provide guests with the same elegant flavor from the first pour to the last. The practice has also helped reduce the amount of waste by eliminating the need for individual bottles. According to Bearden, by utilizing a keg system for their wine Saint Marc has removed the need for glass, corks, foil wrappers and boxes that would otherwise end up back into the refuse system. However, this is just an added benefit of serving by the glass. Bearden said that from their opening in December of 2015 the intent was to ensure that patrons received a consistent and flavorful pour.
“In most restaurants you run into a situation where a bartender comes in and decides it’s going to be a really busy Friday night. So, he’s going to open six bottles in the beginning so that for speed, he can just pour right through,” said Bearden. If the bartender only pours out three bottles, Bearden added, that means that three bottles that are going to sit out overnight night. “Yes, they’ve got a cork in them, but they’ve already introduced oxygen to the bottle. So tomorrow, when you go to pour that bottle, it’s not that the wine is going to be bad, it’s just not going to taste as good as it did when he poured the first glass out of that first bottle the day before.”
This practice is not the only aspect of Saint Marc that set it apart from your average pub and restaurant. To avoid the nuisance of providing sub-par spirits, Saint Marc has abandoned the tradition of serving well drinks in favor of delivering quality alcohol at various price points that ensure no one is left behind. The idea behind this is that, “even if customers don’t care what they’re drinking, we do,” said Bearden.
To do this, and ensure aggressive pricing, Saint Marc has partnered with different distributors such as Cutwater Spirits out of San Diego, and Brown-Forman. These brands stay in their speed rack to provide quick and delicious mixes.
Rounding out the quality spirit selection is a dedication to flavor and freshness. Saint Marc has opted to create their own infusions, ingredients and mixes in house where possible. Using his experience from his time as master mixologist at the MGM, Bearden developed all the recipes for Saint Marc’s beverage program. This has led to a more intimate and fresh drink than other similar pubs.
“If we can make it in house then we do. We make our own simple syrup, we make our own grenadine from an Italian recipe, we do our own infusions.” said Bearden. “We source tamarin beans from one of our suppliers and we will make a tamarind syrup that will go into one of our cocktails. We really try to focus on fresh and, and creative beverages. By mixing a dedication to quality and freshness with an outstanding desire to provide and casual, comfortable experience, Saint Marc continues to deliver only the best drinks and food without sacrificing the West Coast culture of chill.