andy knuth

Whiskey, Neat: Andy Knuth of Cobblestone

Whiskey Neat introduces you to restaurant and beverage industry professionals, the books they read, and the whiskey they love.

Andy Knuth
Cobblestone Chicago
4337 N. Lincoln Ave

Andy Knuth was made to run a bar. He has the kind of blunt cheerfulness that disarms you and buys you a drink, and before you know it, you’ve told that cheerfulness your life story. But that’s not what makes him a good bar manager. I mean, yes, Knuth works closely with Executive Chef Michael McCloud (formerly of the Tortoise Supper Club) to build a menu that would make a European ex-pat cry, but that’s not what makes him a good manager either. Knuth and his crew absolutely managed the impossible, launching a restaurant on the cusp of a pandemic that nearly killed his industry, yet they kept this fledgling restaurant alive to debut (for the third time) now that we’re all out and starving to death. But that’s not what makes him good. What makes Knuth good is relentless attention to the details some restaurants consider ornamental and a genuine curiosity about the people walking into his pub. What makes him good is that even before you leave Cobblestone, you’re thinking about coming back.

How long have you been at Cobblestone?

Two years

Name a book that matters

To Kill a Mockingbird

Why does it matter?

The book was based on simple events that happened in Harper Lee’s life. It instantly became successful and won the Pulitzer Prize, which for me, translates into simplicity that is lost among us today. We lose sight of the beauty and taste of certain spirits and cordials by mixing five different ingredients to make a “Unique” cocktail. My enjoyment comes from a single glass of Whiskey, NEAT, and paying homage to the folks who spent time to let us enjoy these moments.

Favorite quote from the book:

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

Your preferred top-shelf whiskey:

Journeyman Last Feather Rye

Why do you like it so much?

It’s one of the few whiskeys you can actually taste the love that went into distilling it!
The ripe banana on the note just sets the tone for this amazing whiskey.

What’s your guilty pleasure cocktail with that whiskey?

NEAT only!

I never want to make a ___________ again in my life:

A Long Island iced tea.

Who would you most like to see answer these questions?

Sean Brock

Author: Bull Garlington
Bull Garlington is an author and columnist in Chicago who writes about the madness of travel, analog tools, food, wine, and whiskey. Garlington lives with [his attorney], smokes black cavendish, hikes the easy trails, and makes a mean gumbo yaya.