A recent renovation helps Wigle Whiskey grow thoughtfully into two, newly acquired, existing adjacent spaces by incorporating history; a daylight filled, welcoming, and accessible bar; and finishes that capture the unique spirit of their brand. The expansion doubles the size of Pittsburgh’s first distillery since Prohibition and includes a restaurant, bar, retail bottle shop, dedicated tour and event spaces, and an interactive museum featuring historical vignettes around the region’s whiskey heritage.
The project transforms a long-held perception about “saloons” as being the provenance of old white men. Through beauty, delight, and sustainable re-purposing, the project’s design concept centers the patrons and the community. The expanded distillery exists within a walkable urban neighborhood (Pittsburgh’s Strip District) directly adjacent to public transit. Within a block there are bike and scooter shares. When the original space was built in 2011, the neighborhood had very little residential or mixed-use projects and more of both have sprung up.
This transformation provides a fresh take on the whiskey bar that is welcoming to its diverse, Strip District community. The project took a neglected façade along a prominent street and created views that didn’t exist before. Large existing windows were preserved to bring daylight and offer views in and out. The seating along the sidewalk pulls people in and the space is welcoming, accessible, and open to all.
Interior Architecture- Small Scale (<5,000 sf)