Here’s Your First Look At Kingfisher, Durham’s Newest Cocktail Bar

"After a year of work, Kingfisher is opening Wednesday in downtown Durham. The new cocktail bar from husband and wife Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker has transformed the basement of an old office building on Chapel Hill Street, into a lounge where one can drink the seasons."

News and Observer

Beyond the Cocktail Glass

"But in a culture that’s largely amnesic about the old arts of clay, a new vessel could provide an extra layer of insight—a tangible way to slow down and see the thing in front of us with, potentially, more clarity. “[It] could make people more attentive to the whole experience,” Vanderwalker suggests. “They might not even be aware of it.”"


How To Love Green Peppers

"At Kingfisher, a cocktail lounge opening this winter in Durham N.C., owner Sean Umstead will make local produce the star of his drinks. His emerald-hued Oaxacan Bell begins with a green-pepper syrup that provides a backbone for the cocktail and draws out the vegetal notes of mezcal. The more bite, the better!"

Wall Street Journal

Durham’s Farm-Inspired Cocktail Bar Is Finally Open

"The concept is a result of the duo’s bartender and industry experience, coupled with Vanderwalker’s artist background. “It’s a collection of two people’s passions combined into one unified space,” says Umstead. Everything is intentional, but without trying too hard.."

Eater Charleston


Your Next Favorite Bar

“That means lots of pickling and preserving and a strawberry daiquiri you’ll actually want to drink.”

Garden and Gun

Five Drinks That Redefine “Beach Cocktail”

“One of my most commonly used techniques for coming up with cocktails is envisioning the scene [that] the drink would be ideal to drink in,” says Umstead. In this case, he says it’s a mint julep on the porch of a beach house, “listening to the waves and smelling that sea air.”

Wine Enthusiast

Chefs Tap Local Potters to Craft Serveware Blending Function and Style, Surprise and Delight

"Kingfisher’s cups add texture and a tactile element you might not otherwise get when you’re sipping a cocktail.”

Indy Week

After Months of Hype, Kingfisher, Downtown Durham's Latest Craft Cocktail Bar, Opens Tonight

"Kingfisher—named after the stocky, bright-colored birds who frequent the banks of North Carolina rivers—comes from husband-and-wife team Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker, who will celebrate the state by spotlighting local, seasonal goods in the "ground-to-glass" bar’s food and drink menus."

Indy Week


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