Charles Joly, acclaimed by many as the best bartender in America, is resigning as beverage director at The Aviary in Chicago, effective November 1.
Joly will be succeeded by Micah Melton, who started at The Aviary as ice chef several years ago. Joly is the winner of a James Beard Foundation Award, was named best bartender and best cocktail menu at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and in July won the Diageo World Class 2014 competition in London where he faced off against 48 other mixologists and won with a creation called Above the Clouds that featured a tiki cocktail theme. Joly will devote more time to his ready-made beverage line called Crafthouse Cocktails, which will soon have its own bottling facility in Michigan City, Indiana. He also intends to travel widely as a cocktail ambassador and contest judge.