Preparing a Grog
The Cove’s roots are deep, and it has stories to tell. Just like the rums on our shelves.
— Melissa Garcia, bartender at Smuggler's Cove

The Smuggler's Cove Crew

Martin Cate


Martin Cate is a rum and exotic cocktail expert and the owner and creator of Smuggler’s Cove. He is also the author of “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” (Ten Speed Press, June 2016) with his wife Rebecca Cate. Martin is a passionate rum collector and conducts educational seminars and officiates rum & cocktail competitions across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. In 2015, along with partners Alex Smith & John Park, Martin opened Whitechapel in San Francisco to bring the same passion for history and craft to the world of gin. He is also the co-owner of Hale Pele in Portland, False Idol in San Diego, and a partner in Lost Lake in Chicago.

Rebecca Cate


In 1999, Rebecca Cate inadvertently fueled Martin’s madness by famously uttering words (which she thought were a joke) about making a spare bedroom a home tiki bar. Since then, however, she too has been swept up in the tiki fantasia, first as an enthusiast, then helping Martin open and run Smuggler’s Cove. The opportunity to coauthor the book “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” allowed what had been just a weekend and vacation escape to turn into a fulltime journey. Rebecca earned her PhD in personality and social psychology from The University of California at Berkeley in 2006, and spent over a decade leading large-scale studies of behavioral health interventions as well as topics related to retirement and longevity.

Dane Barca


The Good Reverend Doctor Barca, Esquire works both sides of the bar as hard as he can. Dane has lots of experience and qualifications that he won’t bore you with, except that he wrote a book that is currently ranked three million places below O.J. Simpson’s seminal, If I Did It. Dane has been with the Cove almost from the start and will likely remain there until the end times—so until next week, tops. Bottoms up!

Chad Davis


Chad is a Bay Area native who once hitchhiked all the way across the United States. He loves cheese, making love, jumping on trampolines and exchanging positive vibes with people.

Joe Dixon


Originally from Portland, OR, Joe has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. He's been with us since 2011, and when he's not lighting Volcano Bowls at the Cove, pursues his interest in design and textiles with his company Cardoon. Joe is also an avid traveler, reader, and an incurable record collector.

Melissa Garcia


Melissa has been in the restaurant business about 15 years. She has worked in kitchens and the front of the house as an expeditor, receptionist, host, cocktail server, manager, bartender, and bar manager all over the city, but bartending is what she likes the best. She was previously a bartender at Trader Vic’s San Francisco shaking, blending, and stirring up lots of fun and tasty rum libations.

Charles Green


Charles has been guarding the door at Smuggler’s Cove for the last 5 years. He has 23 years of nightclub and bar security management experience, as well as working as a bodyguard. He's a proud father of two and when he's not protecting the Cove, he enjoys playing softball. You can find Charles at the Cove Sunday through Wednesday.

Matt Hoang


Matt has been on the San Francisco cocktail scene for a few years now, cutting his teeth at the late Poquito in the Dogpatch, managing the bar at Kin Khao, and even spending some time learning over 100 gin cocktails at Whitechapel. Don’t ask him for a martini though, he puts too much vermouth in them. In his spare time, his passion is in the martial arts, his fiancee, his dog, and sometimes his cat. His greatest aspiration is to have a drink on the SC menu called, “The Guillotine,” in honor of his lady’s favorite technique to surprise him with..

Ryan Hunt


Ryan Hunt lives in Berkeley and when he is not at school he practices and studies dishwashing techniques to make all the glasses at Smugglers Cove sparkle.

Steven Liles


Steve has been bartending at some of San Francisco’s top spots since 1998. He is a collector of natty hats and pretty women.

Terry Shipman


Bio coming soon.

Christopher Ward

General Manager

Originally from Memphis, Christopher arrived in San Francisco 15+ years ago in pursuit of a 365-day motorcycle riding season. He's acted as steward of everything from specialty food shops, restaurants and bars, and operates a clandestine vintage scooter repair shop somewhere in The City. When not at the Cove, he can be found living dangerously at excessive speeds on a tricked-out Lambretta - and if it is hockey season he'll be watching his Philadelphia Flyers make a run for Lord Stanley's Cup.

Peggy Williams

Project Manager

Peggy's first memory is of standing in her crib and hearing her parents hosting a party in the living room. The delicate tinkling of ice in glasses, the raucous laughter, and later, the sound of guests falling over furniture… when shaken and stirred, these ingredients combined in an intoxicating realization of the power of the cocktail to reveal the subtlest aspects of life’s delicate elixir, and led ultimately to her dedication to the mission of Smuggler’s Cove.