Patrick Henaghan – Roka Akor Chicago Assistant General Manager
Patrick Henaghan has worked with Roka Akor in Chicago since 2012, moving from managing the bar to his current role as assistant general manager in late 2014. In this position, Henaghan is still responsible for many of the complexities of the bar, overlooking the entire wine and cocktail menu while training the staff on the detailed recipes that come with each seasonal offering.
Henaghan takes his time with each cocktail list he makes, placing items and flavors on the menu outside of the ordinary. “I like to think that I’m inviting the guest to try something new,” said Henaghan. “It is our job as restaurant professionals to encourage our guests to step outside their comfort zones and trust us to show them something they might not be familiar with.”
Previous to working with Roka Akor, Henaghan served as a bartender at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, crafting pre-Prohibition cocktails focused on freshly squeezed juices, and training new bartenders in an award-winning environment. Here, he met Steve Tindle, previous beverage director at Michael Jordan’s and present regional general manager at Roka Akor, who set Henaghan on the path toward his current position. While bartending at Michael Jordan’s, Henaghan also met Mixologist Peter Vestinos, who changed his entire view on cocktails, teaching him the ins and outs of building a solid cocktail list.
Henaghan has also managed at the Palm Restaurant in the Swissôtel hotel and served as wine and beverage director at Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove, IL, the initial challenge that helped Henaghan become the restaurant professional he is today. Most recently, Henaghan was beverage director at Homestead on the Roof in Chicago, implementing new concepts for the wine, spirits, and beer program that helped the restaurant achieve a dozen write-ups in local and national publications.
When not managing Roka Akor, the Ukrainian Village resident loves to experiment with different cuisines, cooking at home for his wife, Kate, whom he met while working at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, a third influential component that came from working at the downtown restaurant.