20 Jun Amanda Lyon: Queen of the Jungle
“I can only picture a life where I’m behind a bar.”
In this edition of Stateside’s “Bartender of the Month,” we met with veteran bartender Amanda Lyon from Morgan’s Pier, to hear her take on an industry she’s known intimately for the past ten years.
Lyon was originally introduced to the craft while working her first job as a hostess. “It all started when I was looking for a job. I was 14 at the time and I was driving down route 541, stopping in everywhere I could. Then I stopped at Charlie Brown’s and they hired me as a hostess. It was at the end of one of my first shifts—I was watching all the bartenders and servers count their money and I was amazed at how much they all made,” Lyon said. Lyon cited this initial work experience as the catalyst spurring her interest in the bar scene and motivating her to climb the industry ladder.
“I said to myself when I’m 18 this is what I have to do. I stayed really focused and started as a hostess and then became a busser. Then I worked my way up and quickly got into bartending when I was 18.”
Lyon spent the first half of her bartending career in New Jersey before moving to Philadelphia, where she initially developed the high-volume techniques she now knows as second nature. When she began working in Philadelphia, she soon recognized the emergence of the craft market and subsequently honed her skills in accordance to the expanding spirits trends.
Lyon’s stint at Morgan’s Pier began three years ago and she has been an asset to their drink service ever since. When asked how Stateside was faring on the waterfront, Lyon was quick to reply, “Everyone here pushes Stateside because it is a local spirit, and because it’s local it makes everyone want to push it even more, just as we do with any other local product because we support local businesses. Now when customers ask for a vodka drink, my usual spiel would go something like, ‘What type of vodka do you want, Grey Goose, Tito’s?’ Now it begins with ‘Stateside?’”
Lyon’s “Bloody Mary,” can be found on Morgan’s Pier’s drink menu and it consists of Stateside Vodka, a Housemade Bloody Mix and celery with bacon or shrimp. “Our Bloody Mary’s are to die for. I’ve even ventured to start putting Stateside with other things that aren’t on our cocktail menu. I’ve been making a watermelon mule; it is very refreshing. It’s so good. I squeeze two lemons first at the bottom. I do our Morgan’s Pier Housemade signature watermelon Puree, that can’t be replicated so you have to get it here. Then I add ice, then Stateside and then ginger beer,” Lyon said.
With aspirations to one day create her own establishment, Lyon suggested she’ll always be in the bar industry in some shape or form.
Located at 221 North Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19123, Morgan’s Pier boasts great food and drink with unparalleled views of the Delaware River. Come visit Statetside’s Bartender of the Month, Amanda Lyon and wet your whistle with one of three Stateside drinks today.