Boston Mourns Loss of Legendary Bartender Tenzin Samdo
Tenzin Samdo, a celebrated Boston bartender, has died following a battle with advanced-stage liver cancer. He was most recently the bar director and partner at Café ArtScience in Cambridge, and he had previously worked at Tavern Road and Trade in Boston. A Tibetan refugee who grew up in northern India and then moved to Boston, Samdo racked up an impressive number of awards over his career, including one of Thrillist’s “Greatest Bartenders of 2015” and Boston Magazine’s “Best Bartender” in 2018—Food & Wine also highlighted Samdo's innovative no waste cocktail menu.
Since news of Samdo's death spread on Monday, there's been an outpouring of support on social media from the Boston hospitality community, as well as comments on the GoFundMe dedicated to him and his family.
Tickets for a benefit titled #TEAMTENZIN are currently available on eventbrite, which will take place on Wednesday, January 30 at Café ArtScience. Samdo’s team and guest bartenders will serve drinks from Samdo’s newest menu, “inspired by endangered ocean species,” according to the benefit’s page; hors d'oeuvres will be available until 11 p.m. Any donations made will be put toward education for Samdo’s eight-year-old son, Mila.
“In less than two decades, Tenzin has built a career as one of the most talented bartenders in the country, marrying a unique sense of aesthetics and cocktail storytelling with a spirit of kindness and generosity,” reads the event page. “His kind heart, positive attitude, and incredible ability to foster community are evident in those who have volunteered to lend their support.”
The GoFundMe page for Tenzin and his family is still live, and over $35,000 has been raised since it was posted. If you’d like to donate, you can find the campaign here. Additionally, any photos shared from the benefit using the hashtag #teamtenzin will prompt "special sponsors" to donate $1 to Tenzin’s fund, per the eventbrite page.