Steve Bayusik ’14
Steve Bayusik has been involved with food and wine since he was old enough to hold a job. He began his career working in a family-owned Italian restaurant in Bridgeport, where he developed a passion for food, wine, and spirits, while also learning leadership in coordinating wine events and developing new cocktails behind the bar. He later would become inspired by New Haven-based restauranteurs Suzette & Arturo Franco-Camacho while working at their subterranean, Nuevo Latino “Roomba”, which opened the door for him to move into the bar at the slick, modern “Bespoke”. His cocktails led him to winning the Elm City Cocktail Challenge, and has been featured in local magazines. The Camachos moved on, and Bayusik continued to hone his craft as Bar & Beverage Director under the new owner of Bespoke, Lauren Kendzierski, with chef Yousef Ghalaini. It was at this venue that he was able to compete with mixologists from all over the country at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Cocktail Competition.
After years of foodservice experience, he decided to spend some time working in sales of wholesale wine and spirits, which led him to trips to France and Belgium, as well as learning concepts of branding and marketing. He also found time to complete his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism from the University of New Haven, culminating with a month’s stay in Italy at the university’s Prato campus, from which he was able to embark on trips to the Piedmont, Venice, and Siena.
After three years of sales, Bayusik decided to return to the restaurant industry, ultimately arriving as the General Manager of Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich’s new restaurant Tarry Lodge, located in New Haven. He continues to lead the staff there, while maintaining an impressive Italian wine list, an Italian “aperitivo-style” cocktail menu, and local draft beers. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, riding motorcycles, and fixing things around the house.