Now more than six months old, Townsman is heading into fall with a new bar manager, Silas Axtell, and, accordingly, a new cocktail menu. Axtell comes by way of Townsman chef/owner Matt Jennings' previous restaurant, the acclaimed Farmstead in Providence, which Jennings closed before coming home to Boston to open Townsman.
Axtell has also worked at Kelly Liken in Vail, Colorado and The Dory on Shelter Island, Long Island. The latter was his first bartending gig, and it was there that he "accidentally" stumbled on an old copy of Harry Craddock's The Savoy Cocktail Book, according to Axtell's official bio. It's what gave him the inspiration "to take a more professional approach to bartending." (During Eater's 2014 Cocktail Week, several area bartenders included the classic book in their advice to home bar enthusiasts.)
While at Farmstead, Axtell joined the United States Bartenders Guild and spent time competing in cocktail competitions around the region. Here's a look at the current Townsman cocktail list, celebrating the waning days of summer with ingredients like watermelon, corn, and charred peaches:
And if you swing by tomorrow night for the Patriots' game, which starts at 8:30 p.m., he'll be serving a special drink called the Free Tom Collins, a classic Aviation cocktail with soda and Peychaud bitters.