When you think of MacInnes, a few things come to mind. A smile, a ginger beard and a classic cocktail in hand. It’s the latter that began his love affair behind the bar.
Miami born and raised, he has been a vibrant addition to the sunshine states’ booze culture, aligning himself with creative individuals, participating in many competitions (with varying levels of outfits) and generally making his presence known.
Once admittedly intimidated by the fast paced, knowledge-based machine of Kyu, James now sits as Bar Manager of this well-oiled beast. Working alongside a team of talented individuals, Kyu’s cocktail program strives to push boundaries of a “restaurant bar.” Using seasonal local and Asian inspired flavors, he works together with the kitchen team, to create the perfect sip.
MacInnes brings a wide service background to the table. From his bar backing, tray dropping Brother Jimmy’s days, to stints in the kitchen and more notably his recent position held in Melbourne’s award-winning Dinner by Heston.
After the recent traveling, brought on by great growth opportunities, James returned to Kyu with an abundance of knowledge and appreciation of new techniques. He wants to get back to refined classics with maximum flavor.
If MacInnes is not at Kyu (rarely) you will probably find him shoulder deep in a sought-after counter seat at Lung Yai Thai Tapas, slurping on some Khao Soi. He would save you a seat, but the owner would shout at you...rightly so.
Favorite Spirit Right Now: “Scotch – There's something about the sweet, salty, rich flavor profiles you can achieve through scotch distillation and maturation that has captured my heart. More often than not you can find me enjoying a dram of Scotland's finest post shift.
Last Played song on Spotify: “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers