Beyond the Bar: Nantucket Bartenders

Beyond the Bar

Stu’s Spirit(s)

Holly Finigan

…From an interview that started outside of The Bean and finished on a wine tour by bike in Mendoza, Argentina…

You may know him as the guy who made up the infamous “One Night Stand” cocktail at Water Street. Others remember him as the bartender at Pi Pizza who muddles his margaritas to perfection. You may recall him from his days at the Brotherhood or even from his stint at Nantucket Auto Body. But this summer, for his seventh season, you’ll know him as a new kind-of-Stu.

In good times and bad, 30-year-old Stuart “Stu” Boissonnault loves the idea of bartending because there will always be jobs slinging drinks. But as a profession, Stu is looking at the bar as a gateway to something larger.

This traveling man has more in store for him this winter than infusing 888 vodkas and pouring chianti. Stu is off for February and March to travel from ACK to the Mendoza region of Argentina to find a tourist destination to set up a business involving both wine and spirits.

Stu was born into the traveling lifestyle. He can’t pinpoint one place where he grew up. As a foreign-service kid, from Kenya to Syria, Germany to Pakistan, he lived in more countries during his youth than most people see in their lifetime. Even on Nantucket, Stu hasn’t settled in just one spot – from Appleton to the Airport, Hummock Pond to the upstairs at the Brotherhood; he spent his first summer on Nantucket living in a bus.

Now the only busses Stu takes are around the countryside in Mendoza. With the help of his amigo, Argentine native and Oran Mor waiter Sebastian “Seabass” Gonzalez, the two have been planning to expand their reach to the southern hemisphere. Stu has volunteered on a vineyard during harvest in the wine country of the 5th largest wine producing region in the world. With Seabass’s knowledge of his home country and Stu’s passion for making great wines and liquors, the two are constantly coming up with new drink ideas in a country where the nightlife begins at 3 a.m.!

Stu’s love for the country stems from an old Argentinian flame. Though it ended many years ago, he has been in Argentina for the last three winters, mostly between the two cosmopolitan cities of Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America) and Mendoza, the Napa Valley of Argentina.

As for his return to the Rock? This summer, Stu will take a break from bartending, and instead will work alongside Jay Harmon, Dean Long and Randy Hudson running the popular “Cisco to Go” catering parties. While Stu said he’ll miss Pi Pizza and concocting killer cocktails, he’s really looking forward to trying something different after more than a half decade bartending on the rock.

Stu’s ultimate goal is to split his year between ACK and Argentina. While he knows he’s got a ways to go, this jetsetter is loving the Mendoza Malbec and the infusions of 888, all while smiling his way through the beauty of the seasonal life. And while it may take most people their entire lives to split their time between two gorgeous travel destinations, Stu is living the dream from isle to Argentina and bACK.

Holly Finigan has thrived on the Nantucket seasonal life for the past five years. She spends the winter months gallivanting around the globe, enjoying the summers of New Zealand and Argentina and the winters in Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. When she’s not travel writing on a deserted beach, you can find her on the Rock, enjoying Espresso Martini’s at the Pearl. Follow her Argentine travels at She will be bACK when the daffodils bloom on Milestone Road.

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