Don Borelli has gone from scoping out the bad guys to scoping out the best brews in town. Borelli is a 30-year veteran of the FBI security and counter-terrorism force, who just recently fulfilled his dream of opening a beer bar. Arts and Crafts, known for serving craft and artisan beers and displaying local artwork, just opened recently in the West Village in New York.
“I still have my day job, and I’m passionate about it, but opening this bar gave me the opportunity to do something creative and different,” Borelli told The Daily Meal. “Besides who doesn’t like beer? This is a nice change.”
Borelli said that the atmosphere of his bar will be relaxed and laid-back. He will be featuring a variety of local beers, Belgian and German ales, IPAs and porters, and even the “standards” like Budweiser. But the unusual draw (besides Borelli’s career background), is that the beer parlor will also function as a mini art gallery, featuring the paintings, drawings and photos of several local artists.
Has the shift from national security to operating a bar been tough? Surprisingly, Borelli sees some comparison.
“When you are an FBI agent posted overseas, you act as a diplomat and when you own a bar, you also need to have pretty good diplomatic skills,” said Borelli. “That’s definitely come in handy.”
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi