How Sam Treadway turned Backbar into the area’s hottest neo-speakeasy

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Sam Treadway, the bar manager and co-owner of Backbar was feeling a bit of pressure as he prepared to debut his watering hole in December 2011.

Backbar was one of four new places that began serving craft cocktails all within weeks of one another. Some of the city’s most celebrated bartenders were opening Brick & Mortar in Central Square and the Hawthorne in the Fenway neighborhood. There is also Saloon just down the street from Treadway’s new venture.

But people have found Backbar in droves, and it’s become a destination for craft cocktails and sophisticated bar bites.

On weekends the small space with the industrial decor is chockablock with 20-and-30-somethings snacking on spicy caramel popcorn with bacon and sipping Singapore Smokes, Treadway’s take on the Singapore Sling.

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