Mixologist Michael Searles

January 12, 2016 (Highlands, NC) As part of its continued commitment to elevating the cocktail culture and experience for guests, Old Edwards Hospitality Group announces the appointment of Michael Searles as beverage manager. An accomplished veteran of the cocktail industry, Michael’s career includes positions at Holeman and Finch, Restaurant Eugene and—most recently—Southern Proper Hospitality in Buckhead, Atlanta.

Michael will develop menus, concepts and creative strategies, mentor and train staff, oversee bar functionality and design, and ensure delivery of a personalized guest experience at Old Edwards venues, including Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden, Hummingbird Lounge and Art’s at the Lodge.

Michael says, “I love an environment that is ripe for growth and innovation but also steeped in the classic techniques for creating a superior cocktail. Old Edwards has a discriminating clientele. They also have a culinary program that thrives on locally grown ingredients from their gardens and greenhouses in Highlands. The opportunity to cultivate a cocktail program that complements and enhances this— and to deliver an experience for guests that appreciate something beyond the ordinary—is an intriguing venture. And doing it all amid the spectacular beauty of Highlands, North Carolina, makes it even more gratifying.”

Old Edwards General Manager Jack Austin says, “Experiential, sensory design must be woven into every aspect of the guest environment. Today’s travelers are cultured, global citizens with educated, sophisticated palates. They are entrusting us with their precious travel and leisure time, and their expectations are high. We must stay constantly vigilant, curious, innovative and relentless in anticipating the desires of each guest— and settle for nothing less than delighting them at every turn. Michael Searles’ passion, intuitive service mentality and innate grasp of today’s cocktail culture will help fuel the success of this at Old Edwards.”