Meet Tastemaker Pip Hanson of Marvel Bar
Multidisciplinary by nature, Pip Hanson started bartending while studying jazz drumming and playing in rock bands in 2005. He first learned the bar trade under Johnny Michaels at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis before moving to Tokyo in 2007, where he tended bar at Fifty One in the Roppongi Hills Club.
During his days off Hanson sought out cocktail mentors in Ginza, Tokyo’s fashion district, where he studied classic Japanese cocktail technique with “hard shake” inventor Kazuo Uyeda. He also helped form the rock group Mazis, which was chosen by Tokyo’s Rocking On Magazine as one of the 20 best new bands of 2009.
Upon returning to Minneapolis Pip oversaw the bar program at Cafe Maude and co-founded the North Star Bartenders Guild. He also penned a drinks column for Metro Magazine where he opined about the nascent Twin Cities cocktail scene and helped translate Kazuo Uyeda’s Cocktail Techniques into English. In 2011 City Pages named him Bartender of the Year.
After more than a year of planning Pip and his team opened Marvel Bar to acclaim in August 2011. Bon Appetit Magazine named Marvel Bar and The Bachelor Farmer one of America’s ten best new restaurants and Marvel Bar has been a James Beard national semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program two years in a row. It has also received national recognition as one of the best cocktail bars in the country from Eater.com and Thrillist
How would you describe your style?
Design by deletion
What else inspires you?
Everything, even the examples of what not to do.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
Making someone’s day better.
What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I like the simplicity of the classic brown and grey totes.
Tell us about the community in the Twin Cities and how you work inside of it.
There are so many people doing incredible, eclectic things all over – it’s great to be able to learn from totally different crafts.
What is important to you about supporting small business or American-made brands?
I respect dedication to quality wherever it’s found.