Friends With Benefits: Chris Carraher
Every once in a while, Chris Carraher, director of beverage for Caesars Palace, stops and takes it all in. “One of my favorite walks, whenever I’m having a rough day, is if you walk back from Hell’s Kitchen outside to back inside the property and you see the fountains and the big sign that says Caesars Palace—it just reminds me where I am, and the special opportunity that I have to be a part of this here,” said the Long Island, N.Y. native.
What Carraher is a part of is a huge operation that he helps run smoothly. With more than 150 cocktail servers and about 400 employees on the food and beverage side, Carraher’s responsibilities are many. He oversees and helps plan the cocktail menus for Caesars’ lounges and bars, casino floor, and the newly remodeled, 4,000-seat Colosseum, which he helped unveil recently. “It’s this great customer experience now,” he said.
Carraher has been in the hospitality industry for more than a decade, attending Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island to get his hospitality degree. He then sharpened his professional skills by spending a good bulk of his career working at one of Boston’s biggest hotels. But he always knew he wanted to eventually land in Las Vegas, “Vegas being the epicenter of what we do.”
So he made the move to the neon city more than five years ago, working in food and beverage at the Rio and Harrah’s. For the past couple of years he worked at Caesars Palace, where he started out as the assistant beverage manager and was promoted to his current title about seven months ago.
“You always talk about Vegas as the mecca, where people in my career want to be. This was always something I had in mind, but didn’t know it would become a reality.”
Recently added to the cocktail menu at Montecristo Cigar Bar, the Trickster is one cool-looking cocktail that tastes delicious, too. It’s mixed with Grey Goose vodka, simple syrup, Angostura bitters and rhubarb bitters, then the glass is placed inside a box and smoke is added to give it an earthy, smoky flavor. “Montecristo is one of my favorite places to be,” Carraher said. “Having this cocktail with an Old Homestead burger from next door and a cigar is the best way to enjoy it.”