If you’re looking to attend the same successful International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event that was at last year’s National Restaurant Association show, you won’t be able to find it. However, what you will find is the rebranded BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) at NRA Show event. The beverage alcohol show that’s committed to helping industry professionals develop and maintain a successful bar program will be a more integrated show than seen in previous years, but will still coincide with the NRA Show, which will take place May 16-19.
In addition to a myriad of booths geared toward the bar industry, BAR will offer educational seminars, interactive demos and specialty pavilions. The Craftique Pavilion will focus on products that can’t be easily found; small distilleries, breweries and wineries that customers want to discover. Bar Necessities offers exclusive drink complements such as garnishes to help you craft your own specialty drink menu.
The educational session lineup is as follows:
Sunday, May 17
11:00 AM BAR Keynote: Sally Smith, President & CEO, Buffalo Wild Wings
Smith brings her insight in this informational keynote presentation discussing the evolution of Buffalo Wild Wings’ successful beverage program and how the investment has dramatically elevated the brand.
12:30 PM Building a Successful Wine Program
Master Sommelier David Glancy discusses the importance of customer loyalty and brand elevation as an important measure of success. The session covers beverage law, wine list development, beverage cost control, vendor relations, and cellar management.
2:00 PM Sipping Social with Kathy Casey, Liquid Kitchen
Join Liquid Kitchen’s Kathy Casey as she shares popular trends in the beverage world gathered organically via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
3:30 PM 35 Years Behind Bars with Tony Abou-Ganim, the Modern Mixologist
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, hosts an informative session on trending cocktails, spirits, ingredients and techniques.
Sunday, May 18
1:00 PM Increase Your Sales with the Hottest Trends in the Craft Beverage Market
Ginger Johnson, founder and CEO of Women Enjoying Beer discusses some of the hottest trends in the craft beverages. Offer the latest in meads, ciders and wilds to keep your customers coming back. Johnson will present insight on these latest trends and how you can increase customer traffic.
2:15 PM Menu Economics: Building and Maintaining a Profitable Beer Program
Led by Jason Stone, vice president of operations for Marke Team Inc and Certified Cicerone, this panel-based session will examine effective strategies to help build and maintain a profitable beer program.
Attendees will also be invited to off-site events after show hours. Restaurants Rock is the official after party of the NRA Show and BAR where hospitality professionals gather for a night of drinking, dancing, live music and the Star of the Bar finals. Restaurants Rock will be held Sunday, May 17 at 9 pm at House of Blues. Some of Chicago’s favorite hotspots open their doors to the Hop Around the Scene Block Party crowd. The block party will be held Monday, May 18, and the lineup includes Bub City, Howl at the Moon, Rockit Bar & Grill, Underground and Untitled.