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Behind the Bar: Tim Kweeder of Kensington Quarters

by Drink Philly on Jan 12, 2017 in Culture

 
For this installment of Behind the Bar, we interviewed Tim Kweeder, the general manager at Kensington Quarters, who has previously worked as an event planner, a liquor buyer, and at spots like a.kitchen and Moore Bros. We sat down with Tim to ask about his extensive wine knowledge, what it’s like to work within a multi-concept restaurant, and his favorite wine regions.

Drink Philly (DP:) Tell me a little bit about the place.
Tim Kweeder (TK): It’s a cute little term called a “slashie,” I guess, right? It’s a whole animal butcher shop, retail shop, restaurant, and event space.

DP: How long have you been here?
TK: Since October 2014, when we opened.

DP: Total years behind the bar?
TK: About 20 years in the business, though I’ve only been bartending for about a year and a half and have mostly been in a managerial role.

DP: How is the business different today than it was when you started?
TK: The scene is really on fire right now. Philadelphia’s getting a lot of national attention, and I think it’s a lot more about camaraderie than competition.

DP: How has the clientele changed?
TK: There’s definitely a lot more open-minded people these days - they’re less afraid to leave their comfort zone and try new things.

DP: What’s trendy right now?
TK: Not really sure! I’m not hip and don’t keep up with all that jazz.

DP: What are some trends you wish would die?
TK: Trends is what keeps the buzz going, right? More trends, please.

DP: Any predictions about where the industry might go next?
TK: The market’s just going to keep getting more saturated with new restaurants.

DP: What’s your beverage of choice?
TK: Whatever Forest & Main and Tired Hands has on tap.

DP: Favorite beer?
TK: Any English Bitter - Forest & Main makes a great one.

DP: Favorite liquor?
TK: Aged brandy.

DP: Favorite cocktail?
TK: In the Kweeds at Wm. Mulherin's Sons.

DP: What do you think are some wines that people should check out right now?
TK: Swabia - it’s part of Germany, southwestern Germany, near Baden and Stuttgart. They have a lot of dry Rieslings and light-bodied red wines, and not enough people know about it. It’s big in modern progressive restaurants in the Lower East Side & Brooklyn.

DP: What wins you over with an importer?
TK: Stories behind wines - they’re more in tune with where the wine’s from and how it’s made and not trying to make it something it’s not.

DP: Where do you go for a drink when you’re not working?
TK: Garage - I live right around the corner from the original. Townsend is a favorite of mine. Keith Raimondi, who now owns Dapper Goose in Buffalo,was another favorite of mine. Martha is also a new favorite of mine.

DP: If you could have a drink with any person alive or dead, who would it be and what would you have?
TK: Joe Beddia. He knows a lot about different wines, so he’s a great and chill person to drink wine with. He sees things differently, but he’s a down-to-earth dude.

Photo via Drink Philly 


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