By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 24, 2021 at 6:01 PM

What’s it like to be a bartender during a time when gathering together in bars is a dangerous proposition? How do you feed your creative spirit? 

Those are just some of the questions we sought to answer when we talked with Matt Tunnell, bar manager at Hotel Madrid, an industry veteran who got his start at Great Lakes Distillery and The Palm Tavern (RIP Palm) before branching out to work with the creative crew at Stand Eat Drink Hospitality.  

During our conversation, we learn more about Tunnell and his career. We also get a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to work in the trenches as the bar industry made pivots to attract business, remain relevant and keep customers safe.


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Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.