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Thea EngstPhotograph by Peter Ricci
Thea Engst is currently the General Manager of The Independent in Somerville, MA, a craft cocktail bar and restaurant. She started working at The Independent in 2009 as a host while she was putting herself through grad school for an MFA in writing poetry. Over the years, Thea worked her way up to server, bartender, and Bar Manager. After just about a year as a manager, Thea opened River Bar, a craft cocktail focused bar and restaurant, as their Bar Manager, where she helped craft their cocktail list. She eventually became the General Manager of River Bar. Thea has spent her restaurant career delving into cocktail, beer, spirit, and wine knowledge, but most importantly making friends and her own family of skilled restaurant workers, artists, and wonderful human beings. She has been featured on Chronicle and in The Boston Globe, Boston Eater, Boston.com, and Boston Metro. River Bar was named Somerville Scout’s Best Outdoor Dining Restaurant two years in a row. Thea specializes in making and consuming strong and stirred drinks with no garnish; she estimates that the mash bill of her blood is fifty-six percent bourbon and forty-four percent rye.