Chris Gatchell, an Eater Awards nominee for Bartender of the Year based on his work as bar manager at Portland's Inkwell bar and Union restaurant at The Press Hotel, recently resigned from the organization. A representative for the company told Eater, "We at The Press Hotel would like to sincerely congratulate Chris on his Eater nomination and wish him continued success as he moves forward with reaching his career goals in the Portland area and beyond!" There was no word on a planned successor for his role.
Gatchell said that although The Press Hotel is a boutique, independent hotel, it's also aligned with Marriott and Trust Hospitality, which creates a "unique challenge" dealing with "three tiers of expectations that aren't just local." When asked if the environment was too corporate for him, he replied, "That'd be the corporate way to say it."
Despite feeling that The Press Hotel wasn't the right fit for him personally, Gatchell spoke highly of his co-workers at Inkwell and noted, "To leave a program in good standing feels great." As for what's next, the normally busy bartender is taking some time for reflection: "This is the first time I've been able to leave a job and take a week or a few and just think about it. Whether it's consulting, my own place, or a location change, those are things I get to consider and follow through on. Happy to do it."