Having taken his first job as a dishwasher at just 14 years old, Rob Ficks is a restaurant industry vet. Always one to push himself, Rob worked his way up from his dishwashing gig to become a bartender in his early twenties. After a brief post-college foray in restaurant marketing, Rob decided to pursue his passion for hospitality and return behind the bar.
Familiar with the ins and outs of a running a neighborhood restaurant, Rob moved to Massachusetts to dabble in higher end establishments. In 2012, Rob started on the ground level as a barback at the James Beard award-winning restaurant, Craigie on Main, in Cambridge. After just two years, Rob earned the title of Bar Manager while working under the tutelage of now-Assistant Director of The Hawthorne, Jared Sadoian. During his tenure, Rob helped devise and execute the programs at both Craigie on Main and its sister restaurant, Kirkland Tap & Trotter.
Rob and Jared reunited in June 2017, when Rob accepted the position of Head Bartender at The Hawthorne. In this role, Rob loves experimenting with new and unfamiliar ingredients – whether it is a seasonal herb or an obscure liqueur – to mix playful, creative concoctions. Rob comes to The Hawthorne with a deep knowledge of the whiskey world, which paired with his interest in rum and mezcal, makes him an indispensable curator of the bar's extensive collection of high-quality, globally-sourced pours.
When Rob is not behind the stick, he enjoys hunting and fishing at his father’s house in Maine. He has also been an avid skateboarder since the age of 17 and frequently skates at Lynch Park in Cambridge.
A California transplant with a degree in Computer Science and Music History from MIT, Jared Sadoian may seem at first glance an unlikely bartender. But an enthusiasm for cocktails led him into the industry in 2010 during his senior year, joining the impressive team at Eastern Standard as a barback, where he learned from the likes of prolific bar mentor Jackson Cannon and other well-known faces of the cocktail world.
Even after moving to Manhattan to take a competitive financial job as a tech analyst at global investment bank Barclays Capital, Jared continued his work in bars at Elsa in the East Village during his (admittedly very limited) spare time. Toiling away for a year in a corporate setting revealed that – while he was drawn to elements of finance and business – the hospitality space was more personally fulfilling.
In 2011, Jared moved back to Boston and quickly found a home at Chef Tony Maws’ James Beard Foundation award-winning restaurant Craigie on Main, coincidentally the place where he fell in love with cocktail culture while in school. His career trajectory accelerated from there with positions as Craigie’s Head Bartender (2012) and Beverage Manager (2013), eventually rising to Beverage Director of the restaurant and its younger sibling, The Kirkland Tap & Trotter.
Jared was recognized for his early mastery of the local cocktail scene as part of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2014, which distinguishes the young, up-and- coming personalities in Boston’s dining and beverage industries.
Jared’s most recent career move brought him back across the Charles River to Kenmore Square, where he works as Bar Manager of Jackson Cannon's award-winning cocktail lounge, The Hawthorne, and Assistant Bar Director of the seven-restaurant group it is a part of. Jared's eye on the intersection of drink, service, culture and analytics lends a thoughtful, data-driven approach to the group's heightened focus on hospitality, developing new tools to help his staff work more effectively to provide an unparalleled drinking & dining experience.
Owner & Bar Director
Jackson Cannon has always lived to exacting standards. Son and brother of renowned award- winning journalists Lou and Carl Cannon, Jackson grew up immersed in a world of travel, politics and literature. In his twenties Jackson dedicated himself to a career in music, traveling the world in support of such dynamic acts as Eddie Kirkland, Gatemouth Brown, Dennis Brennan and The Tarbox Ramblers. A stint booking music acts at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts provided the fortuitous introduction to the craft of bartending and Jackson seized the stage.
Settling in Boston, Jackson transitioned out of music and found bartending to be the perfect profession for his diverse interests. One part performer, one part philosopher, and a healthy splash of cocktail historian, Jackson has since single-handedly elevated the craft of bartending in Boston. Together with three esteemed colleagues, Jackson formed the Jack Rose Society with a mission to preserve the legacy of the art of the American cocktail and right the wrongs of misunderstood classic cocktails.
Jackson opened Eastern Standard in 2005 as Bar Manager, quickly cementing the neighborhood brasserie’s reputation as one of the country’s best bars, known for its attention to properly crafted cocktails and unwavering hospitality in a high-volume environment. Jackson’s iconic, expansive cocktail program offering more than 60 classic and new creations has secured Eastern Standard national attention from USA Today as one of the country’s “Top 10 Hotel Bars” in 2006, Esquiremagazine as one of the “Best Bars in America” in both 2008 and 2010 and Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for “Best High Volume Cocktail Bar” in 2012 and “Best American Restaurant Bar” in 2015). In 2011, Nightclub & Bar magazine named Jackson “Bartender of the Year.”
The same year, Jackson introduced the next iteration of his vision when he opened The Hawthorne, where he has built an experience revolving around a commitment to thoughtfully crafted cocktails, continued cocktail/spirits education and curating truly exceptional moments for guests. Under Jackson’s guidance, The Hawthorne has received local and national acclaim, most recently named "Best American Hotel Bar" at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, a 2013, 2014 and 2015 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for “Outstanding Bar Program” – the only New England establishment to receive the honor in 2014. He was also personally recognized as a finalist for “Best Bar Mentor” at the 2013 and 2014 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards and as a 2014 Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award nominee for “Mixologist/Brand Ambassador of the Year.”
Today, the wanderlust of youth has been channeled into the passion of a true cocktail scholar, leading Jackson to travel the world in search of a deeper understanding of rare spirits, their cultivation and distillation. This firsthand knowledge from locales spanning Mexico, South America, Europe and the US is incorporated into training programs at Eastern Standard and The Hawthorne. Elevating staff understanding of source and product thus translates into an exceptional guest experience.
When he’s not roving the world in search of rare spirits, Jackson travels the country participating as a judge in such esteemed industry competitions as Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
In 2013, Jackson collaborated with 165-year-old local knife-makers R. Murphy Knives to design the Jackson Cannon Bar Knife, a multipurpose tool with many applications in drink-making, from cutting citrus and notching fruit for glass rim garnishes to removing fruit seeds, making spiral-cut citrus peels/twists and facilitating workstation clean-up by scraping counters with the flush blade underside.