It took seven months — time spent partially remodeling the dining room, building a climate-controlled wine room and overcoming liquor-license hassles — but Justin Severino's Cure finally has a full-service bar. No wonder he hopes customers spend some time enjoying the Lawrenceville establishment's new liquor offerings.
"We want to encourage our customers to linger longer. I want people to come here to have an experience," he says.
Michael Kreha and Colin Anderson, both formerly of Bar Marco, will run the wine and cocktail programs, respectively. "Bringing the two of them into what we're doing is going to be really fantastic," Severino says.
Kreha, who recently passed the level 1 sommelier exam, is fascinated by the connection between food and wine. "I want to do some stuff that was a little more classic than I did at Bar Marco," he says. "I'm going to open with more whites and rosés. It really fits his food."
Look for Anderson's cocktails to have a culinary focus, too. The forward-thinking bartender plans to take advantage of some of the toys found in Cure's kitchen. "He's already made bitters using the Cryovac and the thermal circulator," says Severino.
Anderson's goal is to "take what we have in the kitchen and infuse it into the cocktails." Preserved citrus like Meyer lemon and bergamot will appear in several drinks; more adventurous imbibers can enjoy cocktails featuring rum infused with Severino's blackstrap-molasses-cured ham.
Beer lovers, meanwhile, can expect a rotating selection of eight brews on tap, plus a curated selection of bottles. Severino also plans to have the largest selection of amaro in Pittsburgh (including a number of bottles he will bring back from a late-summer trip to Italy).
But Severino says nobody should consider putting Cure on their agenda for a Butler Street pub-crawl.
"We're not encouraging late-night bar activities. The focus remains on food," he says. It's just that now, the food "is supported by good cocktails, amaros, beer and wine."