Curiously, this was announced a few minutes ago by The Whistler, not Lettuce, and we have no idea what this new project is (we just assume it's not the country and western one)— though if we had to guess, it's that the Melmans looked at Barrelhouse Flat and immediately thought, "We need one of those." But the gist of it, that much-admired bartender Paul McGee is leaving The Whistler, is big news for cocktail devotees, and it will be interesting to see if The Whistler can maintain its devoted base of cocktail fans and the level of quality that McGee's work represents. To judge by this, they certainly intend to try, and we wish them luck.
After three and a half years at The Whistler, we’re excited to announce that Paul McGee is moving on to a new project with RJ and Jerrod Melman. During our time as together at The Whistler, we’ve become great friends, and will remain so. On February 2nd, 2012, Paul will be handing over the reigns of the cocktail program to Rob, Billy, and long-time Whistler bartender Eric Henry. You can continue to expect the classic Whistler cocktails you’ve come to know and love, as well as some new and exciting creations. While it’s bittersweet to see our friend go, we’re looking forward to seeing him on the other side of the bar at The Whistler.
UPDATE: Eater speculates, based on the timing in various announcements, that it is the country and western bar. We still have a hard time seeing how Urban Cowboy and speakeasy cocktails go together, though.