- Photo by John Colombo
- Ace Hotel bartender Michael Molnar makes The Fairweather cocktail
Some hotels are content with providing comfy beds and clean towels. Not the Ace. East Liberty’s new Ace Hotel Pittsburgh is focused on being a vibrant piece of the community around it, from the Teenie Harris exhibition in the stairwell to an eclectic lineup of Pittsburgh DJs and events. And with a locally leaning menu and a rotating selection of creative cocktails, the Ace boasts a bar that you’ll want to drink at again and again, whether you’re coming from across the country or just down the street.
“We are really the heart of the hotel,” explains bar manager Hana Zoufalik. The attractive bar, which welcomes you to the Ace’s high-ceilinged foyer, buzzes with energy, pumping out drinks for folks in the lobby, diners at the Whitfield restaurant and guests in their rooms: Minibars are stocked with local spirits, wine and even bottled martinis and negronis. To appeal to locals and travelers alike, the Ace bar features a constantly changing menu that includes a little bit of everything. Four taps are dedicated to local breweries like Grist House and Hop Farm, and the wine list is populated with a diverse selection of food-friendly bottles.
Where the Ace’s bar truly excels, however, is in simple, classically inspired cocktails. The Fairweather, for instance, combines blanco tequila, Averna, cinnamon syrup and lemon juice for a bright yet warming winter tipple. The night I visited, Zoufalik and her crew were taking the first tastes of an aged boulevardier. Vanilla-bean-infused rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Campari spent seven weeks in a virgin oak barrel, creating a smooth and slightly smoky version of the classic drink.
Perhaps the best thing about the new bar is that all of this, along with an impressive bar menu featuring burgers and sausages made with local meat, is available every day until 2 a.m. In a town that often seems to shut down around midnight, the Ace offers a welcome addition to the city’s late-night scene.
120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty.www.acehotel.com/pittsburgh