Julia is the head bartender at GreenRiver, a collaboration between The Best Bar in the World Hospitality Consulting and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. At GreenRiver, Julia oversees every aspect of the bar program, including staff training and management, inventory and ordering, cocktail development, and service standards.
Previously, Julia was the head bartender at The Aviary, the James Beard Award-winning Chicago bar from Grant Achatz’s Alinea group. The experience of working in this renowned and highly advanced culinary environment reinforced her commitment to discipline, excellence, and creativity.
Born and raised in Japan, Julia was first introduced to hospitality by her mother, who entertained family guests with a meticulous appreciation for details. In Kobe, Japan, Julia’s passion for the bar environment was sparked when she happened upon a discreetly marked, perfectly curated bar down one of the city’s winding streets. In it, a bartender hand-chipped small spheres of ice for simple highball cocktails, demonstrating an attention to excellence that would ultimately inspire Julia’s motto: “Everything Matters.” From then on, she was hooked.
Julia’s first official role behind the bar was at Rulloff’s Bar & Restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., while studying Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. There, she worked every job, including cocktail waitress, hostess, server and bar back, until she ultimately became a bartender.