If anybody knows the bar business, it’s Cedd Moses. The son of famed L.A. artist Ed Moses has launched, resurrected and managed to maintain 25 establishments in three states – 18 of which are in downtown L.A. – during the best of times and the worst of times. Some of those include Cole’s and The Varnish, The Golden Gopher, Seven Grand Los Angeles and his newly reopened brewery, Homebound Brewhouse at Union Station.

Moses grew up in the post-disco, punk landscape of Hollywood in the early 1980s, no stranger to the Los Angeles nightlife scene. As he describes it in his new book with Erik Cardona,  Pouring With Heart: The Essential Magic Behind The Bartenders We Love he went on to become a money-managing Wall Street hotshot with his face on the cover of Forbes by the time he was 30. And he was miserable.

“I felt like an outsider until I discovered the bar business,” he says in the book. “Nothing has given me more satisfaction than working alongside my fellow bar family, cultivating careers for people who, like me, have felt like outsiders everywhere else. But now I’m surrounded by the most wonderful people every day, and I’m grateful. Outsiders are my fucking people.”

,  Pouring With Heart:

The Varnish (Courtesy Pouring With Heart)

The book is a guide for anyone who wants to get into the business and pays homage to the magic behind the bartenders who brought nobility to the profession. That includes legendary barman Dale DeGroff, who wrote the foreword and Eric Alperin, one of Pouring With Heart’s most beloved ambassadors. It’s a very personal love letter from Moses that discusses the subjects of service, leadership and passion, and tackles the pitfalls like the health hazards of the profession, including drug and alcohol addiction as well as lack of sleep.

“Some nights you’re invincible. Other nights you’re barely holding on. It’s intoxicating. But like most intoxicants, too much fun can be hazardous to your health.”

The main theme throughout Pouring With Heart is the concept of being of service to the person in front of you, Moses’ belief system and ideology that never mistakes the act of making a drink with the art of serving one.

Moses grew up in an L.A. household in the ’60s that entertained a flow of artists and bohemians including Frank Gehry, Ed Ruscha, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, but he credits his passion for hospitality to his mother and devout Buddhist, Avilda Moses.

  Pouring With Heart

Golden Gopher and upstairs Lindy Hotel (Michele Stueven)

“I guess my values came from my mother and my creative side came from my father,” he tells L.A. Weekly. “He was a crazy eccentric artist who hung out with counterculture types. Those values are deep-seeded things within me. My mother came from the drinking rituals of the south. Every day was a cocktail party for my grandmother. It started with Bloodys in the morning and mint juleps in the afternoon until the first fireflies came out, then its bourbon and ranch water from then on. She had a great influence on me, spending the summers in Virginia growing up. That was my first real dose of hospitality.

“My father was a stoner, so me and him were very different that way. He was a social cat, always out, much more than I am. Ironically, I think there are a lot of people in the bar business that are reserved and introverted and the business helps bring us out of our shells. Communicating and connecting with people gives you confidence.”

The notoriously soft-spoken Moses, who prefers to stay in the background, was inspired by the writings of motivational author Simon Sinek and the need and positive impact of good leadership. All profits from the book will go into his  “For Each Other Fund,” intended to be a financial safety net for the Pouring With Heart bar staff.

“It’s a deeply personal journey for me,” says Moses, who opened his first watering hole in 1996, The Liquid Kitty. “We’re on this path to build 2,030 careers by 2030. We measure success with how many careers we build for our people. We’re opening another nine bars next year. Our bartenders can make a difference in our customers’ lives. We believe everyone is capable of doing great things.”

  Pouring With Heart

“The book isn’t meant to argue the merits or evils of the sauce, whether or not people should drink, or how much we should or shouldn’t drink. It’s simply to explain there is an anthropological reason that we do.”

Moses details the life-threatening struggles that went into resurrecting the Golden Gopher dive bar, which originally opened in downtown Los Angeles as the Golden Sun Saloon in 1905.  He started getting death threats when they came in and took over the space and endured a series of break-ins.

“That adversity led to an amazing culture in that bar, which is really what this book is all about,” says Moses, who also told us there are plans  to convert the old Hotel Lindy upstairs into a boutique hotel by another hospitality outlet.

“Regardless of what you look like, where you’ve been, or what you’ve failed at in the past, there’s a place for you here alongside us,” says the father of two. “It’s taken me decades of trial and error to figure it out, and I’m dying to share the magic I’ve discovered.”

“I’d quit the bar business and walk away barefoot and broke, with my last bourbon in hand, before I gave a bartender’s job away to a damn machine.”

Pouring With Heart

Cedd and Ed Moses (Pamela Moses)

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