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Martin Pineault, bar manager

This is Martin Pineault, from Ottawa.

Marty is 37 years old and was born and raised in Ottawa. He comes from a family that’s pretty into arts. His mother is a painter, while his father does a lot of woodwork. When he was a kid, he dreamed to be an actor. With bartending, he managed to bring together his artistic background and love for performance.

Marty has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years. His first job was in a kitchen, in a Tex-Mex kind of restaurant. That was back in high school and it did not last for very long. After that, he decided to try the front of the house. He worked as a barback for different night clubs and climbed the ladder. Eventually, he got hired at an Irish pub called Heart and Crown. He stayed there for eight years, started as a server and ended up district manager. This is where he learned about the business side of things, understanding numbers and how to operate successfully. After almost a decade with the group, he realized that he didn’t have passion for the products and that there was only so much he could do to explore his creativity within this frame. And that’s when he did the jump to cocktail bartending.

After working in management for many years, Marty wanted to go back behind the sticks and got a bartending job at a little spot called Ace Mercado. This is when he really dove into cocktails and met his first mentor, Johnny Goats. It was also through this job that he got the opportunity to take a two weeks training program with Devon Tarby (Cocktail Codex and Death & Co.). A part from his mentors, Marty learned like most of us, through reading books, watching Youtube and exchanging knowledge with the community. Back in 2016, Made With Love came to Ottawa for the first time and that was when Marty started to get into cocktail competitions. He became a brand ambassador for MWL the next year and started to compete in other competitions as well. Being naturally competitive, this kind of turned the wheels for him. It was also how the owners of his current job noticed him. In 2017, they approached Marty to develop the bar program for their new venue. He accepted and was involved in Mati from the very beginning, where he designed the bar, developed the cocktail program and built the spirits selection. This is where you can still find him behind the sticks.

Overall, Marty is a very passionate person. What he loves so much about bartending is how every time you create something, you are grabbing bottles from around the world that so many people have put so much effort into creating. But his passion for our industry goes way beyond cocktails and booze. Marty loves our community. He is a strong believer that we can all learn from each other and be stronger as a whole. He has put a lot of energy into putting Ottawa on the map and continuously works towards that goal. He sure is a lot of fun to be with and definitely contributes to making all of us shine.


A little bit more about Martin...

The three words that describe him best: passionate – loud – caring

The first drink that blew his mind: A Vieux-Carré.

His biggest strength as a bartender: Serving guests and technique. He is a very strong believer that any great chef or true good bartender can work with lower end products and make them great. He also has a very good way of speaking to people and commanding the room.

The biggest professional challenge he had to overcome: One of the biggest challenges he still deals with on a daily basis is being 6 feet tall and 270 pounds with a big voice. A lot of the times he doesn’t realize how intense he may come off, so finding ways to get people to listen without making them feel small is a challenge.

The biggest lesson that his job taught him: To be adaptable. It’s probably one of the biggest lessons he learned and continues to learn in this industry And it sure relates to the current global context. There’s no certainty, you never know what tomorrow will bring so being adaptable and open-minded is necessary if you want to survive.

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