In this Corner is Rich Heider, the first Phoenix bartender I got to know after moving from Boston, and I’m happy to say we’ve been friends ever since. Rich was born in Hawaii, but spent much of his youth in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area; he attended the University of Maryland and then moved to Cleveland, OH before settling in Arizona in 2007. He entered the business by working at Dave & Busters before moving on to J & G Steakhouse at the Phoenician, then Devil’s Martini, BLT Steak at the JW Marriott Camelback and Casablanca Lounge in Scottsdale. You can now find him shaking and stirring at Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch. I first met Rich when he was at J & G, which at that time had consulted with Employees Only of New York (well-known for its mixology). Friendly and knowledgeable, I recall Rich suggesting oysters to pair with my Yellow Jacket cocktail (Partida reposado tequila, yellow Chartreuse, St. Germaine, Prosecco and orange bitters). He was right… I was impressed… and I’ve been a fan ever since.
The best part of working at Market Street Kitchen is… the bar crowd. Everyone has been great, the bar is always full and people are starting to get more adventurous and let me make them new cocktails. I thoroughly enjoy working with my buddy Matt Taylor and Chef Robert [McGrath] as well.
On a hot summer day… I want something refreshing: beer, bubbles, rum/gin cocktails or a combination of these together.
On a cool winter day… I want bourbon and Chartreuse hot chocolates!
At the end of my shift… it’s a great time to try something new, or I’ll have a whiskey or Chartreuse.
My favorite spirit is… Chartreuse, and I have the tattoo to prove it! Spirit genre would be whiskey or gin.
Cocktails I wish more people would order? I wish more people would order cocktails that pair with their course (aperitif, digestif, etc.) and what they’re eating. Last Words, Sidecars and Boulevardiers would be my specific cocktails to order more of.
I love when a guest… tells me what they want to eat, what kind of experience they want and allows me to create cocktail and food pairings to show them the experience they’re looking for. That’s what I’m good at, and that’s what they’re paying for.
My favorite thing about working behind a bar is… the camaraderie. The synergy we had at Casablanca will always be my standard; it was amazing.
If I wasn’t bartending… I would be doing some sort of corporate training and education, or I might become a beach bum.
Favorite spot for a cocktail in Phoenix? I go wherever the best bartenders are. Bar Crudo is one of my favorites, along with Citizen Public House. I have a ton of respect for Micah [Olson]. He’s at the top of his game and doing his own thing at Bar Crudo. Richie [Moe] and his crew at CPH are always innovative and pushing the envelope. And the one trait they both share is that they’re amazing and gracious hosts. You’ll always have a good experience to match the food and cocktails.
Market Street Kitchen
20825 N. Pima Road
Article & Photos By Christina Barrueta
Originally Published in Arizona Vines and Wines Spring 2013 Issue