The Oil City Arts Council is planning an Immersive Speakeasy on November 20th, from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the Great Room of the National Transit Building. We have decided to change things up this year and have one big event instead of the 3 Music in the Transit events as we have done in the past. The event will based around the Roaring 20s and the Speakeasy Prohibition time frame with all the decorations, drinks, food and attire of the era. Max Schang’s Sweet Atmosphere 30-40s Jazz band will be performing and there will be 3 specialty “craft cocktail” bartenders coming up from Pittsburgh with specially cocktails. Shaun and Marie Alcorn will be making and serving small plates and appetizers from the era also. Nick Hess is helping with the decorations and Eli Cooley and George Cooley will be lending artwork from the period. We are encouraging guests to come dressed in era appropriate attire also. There will be special directions on the invitations as so how to get into the event and only 50 tickets will be sold. Tickets are $25 per person which includes the food and entertainment. There will be a cash bar only for the craft cocktails. You must be 21 to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the Transit Art Gallery and at Karma starting November 1. We are very excited about this new venture and hope it will become an annual event.
The band, Sweet Atmosphere will be playing at the event. This group plays Gypsy Jazz and European Swing influenced by Django Reinhardt and other jazz greats. It features Max Schang on guitar, Clint Hoover on chromatic harmonica and Jim Spears on upright Bass.
James Morrow is a seasoned bartender and a pivotal figure in the Pittsburgh Rockabilly scene. His music career kicked off as the lead singer of the band Sonic Ted and the Radio Kings, a late 80s Pittsburgh band. He was also the lead singer of The Rowdy Bovines, a Pittsburgh staple throughout the 90s. Most recently he has fronted the band The Bessemers. James has promoted many bands and shows throughout his career, most notably his Rustbelt Rockabilly Weekenders, held in Pittsburgh throughout the late 90s. His bartending career started at Gooskis in Polish Hill, and he then moved on to the Next Decade in Oakland. After The Next Decade closed he began to bartend, manage, and promote shows at the Upstage, one of Pittsburgh’s premier venues of the early 2000s. James currently bartends at the Tiki Lounge in Southside, where he has been for the past 14 years. Tiki Lounge sparked his love of Tiki culture and cocktails, and he continues to further his bartending career through Tiki Education. James resides in Carrick with his loving, patient girlfriend Hannah and his cat Sully.
Sean Enright is one of the founding fathers of the craft cocktail movement in Pittsburgh. Before joining the team at Spork, he managed several of the city’s most prestigious restaurants and helped found the Pittsburgh Chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. Before starting his career, Sean received formal training at the Harvard Student Agencies School of Bartending in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He spent the following years traveling and pursuing a photography career before accepting a position at Café Allegro in 1997. He quickly realized he had an aptitude for the restaurant business and was promoted to General Manager in quick succession. After seven years there, and another three as Wine Director for Big Burrito Restaurant Group, his passion for wine and bar programs led him to a position at Embury, Pittsburgh's first craft cocktail bar, where he began mentoring many of the city’s top cocktail talents. He then moved on to General Manager positions at Mio, Andora, Spoon Sienna, Bar Marco and The Livermore. Sean designed cocktail programs at several local bars, including Lava Lounge, Carmella’s Plates & Pints and Tiki Lounge, while working on his first cocktail book, Pittsburgh Drinks which was published in March 2017 by Arcadia Press.After his book was published, Sean accepted the General Manager position at Spork. His versatile cocktail menu uses techniques and styles from many different genres of cocktailing including Japanese, Tiki, molecular mixology, pre-Prohibition, current trends and forgotten classics. His goal is to provide a well-rounded menu that offers a drink for every palate and exceeds every guest’s expectations. Sean appreciates the sense of community amongst his fellow team members at Spork. “To find like-minded individuals who are as enthusiastic as you are about providing the highest degree of hospitality to our guests is pretty rare. Unlike other businesses, restaurants seem to promote a familial camaraderie that I've always found endearing,” he says. When he’s not behind the bar, or spending time with his two children, Sean is an avid reader and enjoys books about ancient history. In addition to being a published author, he is also an established Pittsburgh poet.
Stephanie M.G. Woods grew up in Oil City and graduated from OCHS in 2003. That same year she moved to Pittsburgh to attend Carlow University for art and creative writing, but after taking a job at a restaurant in the historic South Side neighborhood, she quickly fell in love with the fast-paced environment of the service industry. Since then she has spent 18 years working in Pittsburgh’s bar scene. Working almost 12 of those years at Tiki Lounge she of course specializes in Tiki cocktails, but also has training in other bartending styles. Steph is very passionate about the service industry and loves its flexibility, the great conversations and the opportunities to cultivate meaningful relationships that the tight-knit community brings. In her many years of experience she’s had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of Pittsburgh’s most notorious bartenders including personalities like Sean and James. Steph is excited to reunite with her former coworkers and bring their collective experience back to her home town of Oil City for this unique event.