Sean is a bartender at two of my favorite places in Pittsburgh. Tender and Allegheny Wine Mixer are both located at different spots on Butler Street in Lawrenceville bringing two very different vibes to Pittsburgh nightlife.
AWM is a blend of chill and chic. Yeah, it's a wine bar but don't think you have to be a connoisseur! Sean, Lisa, Dawn, and owner Jamie always find something that you will enjoy. Not a wine drinker? Their menu is vast and includes cocktails, craft beers, and cheese/dessert plates, (that are almost too beautiful to eat... almost). They even have cans of Old German! Their menu doesn't break the bank either with $5 special wine glasses and flights for under $10. The last time I visited I got a bottle of Isastegi Sagardo Natural Cider that I recommend to anyone who likes cider that's a little sweet and sour. A work of art by past guest, Stephen Tuomala is featured on the wall to the right when you first enter! Make sure to check them out when they have a band or DJ, (which is often). For updates, just follow them on Twitter or like them Facebook (links below). Also, they have an industry night so if you are in food service head down on a Sunday for 20% off!
Tender is a bit more formal. Their cocktail menu is vast but as Sean discusses in the interview, it's fun to talk to the bartender and build something with booze and flavors that you love. Tender is the sister restaurant of Verde which is a must see for any tequila fan. Both the drink and food menu reflect staples from different regions around the country, (like hush puppies and tatter tots!), with their own graceful touches. Your food and your beverage are crafted, not thrown together. There is no standing room so you are able to enjoy your company's conversation without fear of being squeezed at the bar. I've gone here a couple times recently and while the drinks are a bit pricer, you are paying for very high quality ingredients and the great skill that goes into mixing them. This is still Pittsburgh however, so don't feel intimidated. Tender is a very relaxed atmosphere inside a gorgeously repurposed bank building.
Sean is not on the Internet!
But the places he works at are...