Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Michael began working in restaurants as a teenager. He moved to New York City in 2010 and his first position in the hospitality industry was a server role at Keith McNally’s Roman inspired trattoria, Pulino’s. Drawn to the pace and energy of restaurants, Michael then joined the front-of-house team at Gabe Stulmans's flagship bistro, Joseph Leonard in the West Village, where he got his start behind the bar. It was through these early experiences that Michael realized an innate love of hospitality and a growing passion for wine & spirits.
In 2016, Michael started working at Brooklyn’s Frankies 457 Spuntino, where he catapulted from bartender to beverage manager, working closely with mentor John Patterson. Inspired to further his wine education, Michael started his WSET certification, completing his level three diploma in 2021. Beyond service, Michael has also worked with Forthave Spirits, acting as the distiller’s Operations Manager from 2019 to 2021. Michael is also a jazz drummer and collector of vinyl records.
In January 2023, Michael Beck was named the Beverage Director at Union Square Cafe. In his role, Michael is proud to continue the legacy of the restaurant’s award-winning wine and cocktail program, celebrating the restaurant’s storied past, while striving to innovate.