For bartender David Mor, 28, the hospitality industry is about more than just good food and drinks. “I love getting people to relax,” he says. “I want people to feel seen and noticed.” But he is also conscious of the less rosy side of the business. “There’s virtually no support from anyone bigger than us. The money is not trickling down to those who need it.” So he set out to create a support network for the industry himself.
Mor was working at the now-closed Bad Hunter when the pandemic upended bars and restaurants. That was the catalyst for Spill, a multimedia platform he started and runs with designer Kisira Hill. Under that umbrella, they publish Guest Check, a print magazine by and for hospitality workers, and organize Hustles, an event series that showcases the side ventures of industry folks. “Hospitality people have so many skills that are not shaking a cocktail or serving a Burrata,” Mor says. He and Hill also host the podcast Anthropological, which examines the industry in the context of history and culture. “I thought it would be cool to have an uncensored look at the mind of a hospitality pro,” he says.
That goes for Head Bartender in Charge, too, the subscription website Mor launched last year. It features video classes taught by such top drink mixers as Scott Kitsmiller of the Bamboo Room and Paige Walwyn of Queen Mary, as well as recipes and discussion boards. In keeping with Mor’s larger mission, the expert guests get a cut of the proceeds.
And now he’s taking his bartending career into his own hands. Late last year, he left a job at Boeufhaus to form Mor Hospitality with Rami Ezzat of Robert et Fils, Sarah Kmiec of Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf, and his fiancé, Matt Hunnel, who worked in hospitality at RH (previously known as Restoration Hardware). Their first order of business: opening a bar, Truce, this summer in Bucktown.