Experiencing the Art of Agave.
After several noches of sharing, pondering and rambling, tres amigos decided to take a leap of faith together. We found common ground in our admiration of well crafted creations and the "artistas" behind them - creations that deliver memorable and meaningful experiences. For Walt and John, that came from worlds of premium spirits and hospitality. For Rod, that came from the worlds of design, brand and art. It's at the convergence of those worlds that we set out to create Arte Agave.
Arte Agave was thus born of our mutual passion and appreciation of agave spirits + cuisine + the arts all wrapped in the values that define its very spirit: Respeto, Comunidad, Celebración, Innovación, y Pasión.
While it’s certainly meant to be a unique and celebratory experience, on another level our aim is to develop a platform for certain local businesses (including a few start-ups and entrepreneurs) to engage new customers and larger brands that could help them grow – a sort of a collaborative 21st century NYC-style “mercado”. A bit ambitious perhaps, but go bold or go home, right?
- Walt, John & Rod
Founder + Director
Walter Easterbrook, Founder and CEO of the Bowery Collective, started his career in hospitality in NYC over 15 years ago, and he knows the business from top to bottom. Having started out bartending in a multitude of restaurants and high volume corporate establishments, Walt’s quick ascent soon led him to opening and managing bars and to planning and launching a wide array of selective events both in the US and abroad.
Walt first discovered his passion for the hospitality industry in college. Shortly after graduation, he put his experience to the test in New York City, where he quickly built an impressive resume and went on to help open the Lobby Bar at The Bowery Hotel.
Through his various experiences, Walt has honed his skills, embraced the world of "mixology” and perfected his craft of using new liquors and fresh ingredients to create signature cocktails.
These days, you’ll find Walt reveling in the details and expertise it takes to craft meaningful moments for his guests – from creating signature cocktails, to shaping the space and guiding the service to ultimately deliver just the right experience.
Jefe de Partnerships
As a NY based entrepreneur, John Henry played a vital role in the launch of several premium and luxury spirit brands including Johnny Walker Gold, Maker’s Mark, St. Germain, Krug, Ardbeg, Coole Swan, El Buho Mezcal. He served as one of the first Brand Ambassadors for Johnny Walker as well as Maker’s Mark Bourbon and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Esquire, The WB Network, HBO and a wide array of other trade and consumer publications.
John is a brand-building marketer with a gift for helping brands craft memorable impressions in every customer encounter. He led the Cktl 101/102 and NYCW (New York Cocktail Week) efforts for Liquor.com, and has created, staffed and executed events from DC to Boston.
John is currently a partner in PipeLine Brands, a grassroots, brand building company now in its seventh year, and he is currently launching his own mezcal brand, El Buho, in agave markets across the country.
An expert on emerging craft brands and beers as well as major supplier brands, John is also an instructor on spirit-based businesses at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC.
John is also a proud West Point graduate as well as a professional actor who has appeared in over a dozen films including The Good Shepherd, Cop Land and Mergers & Acquisitions. He’s got a keen eye for talent that shines.
Jefe de Brand + Marketing
As founder and CEO of NYC based branding agency, Optimistico, Rod’s talent and passion lie in creating better brand experiences. Over the years, he has helped brand and market a wide range of large and small clients from government to retail, start-up to turn-around.
Rod has extensive experience in branding, marketing strategy and management and has led the development and implementation of integrated programs for a wide array of organizations including Scholastic, JetBlue, Harry Potter, HSBC, Comcast, The U.S. Department of State and the Marines.
Rod’s career in branding and marketing started with the nation’s largest ad agency, JWT, where he migrated to the agency’s Specialized Communications division and founded and directed its diversity practice. He then went on to support the development and growth of two NY-based agencies, including his own, Optimistico.
Prior to the branding and advertising space, Rod did his stint in the technology world with Accenture and obtained his MBA with an emphasis on marketing and his BBA with a double major in Marketing and MIS. Rod is also a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He has spent time in Mexico, Texas, Washington D.C. and currently resides in New York City.