Kingfly Spirits hires Jeremy Bustamante from Superior Motors |

Kingfly Spirits hires Jeremy Bustamante from Superior Motors

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Jeremy Bustamante, the new food and beverage director at Kingfly Spirits in the Strip District.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Jeremy Bustamante, the new food and beverage director at Kingfly Spirits, in front of one of the stills.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
Jeremy Bustamante, the new food and beverage director at Kingfly Spirits.

Jeremy Bustamante, the respected bartender who poured drinks at Superior Motors restaurant in Braddock since it opened in 2017, has a new gig. He’s the the food and beverage director at Kingfly Spirits, a craft distillery, in the Strip District.

Bustamante worked for Superior Motors chef Kevin Sousa since 2010 at his various restaurants.

“Kevin (Sousa) and I will always be friends,” said Bustamante on Wednesday. “I love Superior Motors. This was a unique opportunity for me. Kevin inspired me to try something new like this and use my creativity by taking a chance because of all the ventures he has taken chances on. This move just feels right.”

Bustamante’s last day at Superior Motors was July 30, his birthday.

“Superior Motors is a great place, and I want it to continue to succeed,” said Bustamante, who wasn’t actively looking for a change.

He met one of the Kingfly co-owners, Mark Willson, through mutual friends.

“Good things are going to continue to happen here,” Willson said. “We are shifting into second gear, and Jeremy is going to help us get there.”

The Superior Motors staff will greatly miss Bustamante, said the restaurant’s general manager Chris Clark.

“There’s no replacing a guy like Jeremy, because it’s an impossible task,” Clark said in an email Thursday. “His personality and work ethic very much defined the Superior Motors bar for the first two years. It’s up to us to find someone who shares the Superior Motors vision the same way that Jeremy did.”

Bustamante is well-regarded for his vast knowledge of the bar business, said co-owner and master distiller Blake Ragghianti. He added that what differentiates Bustamante is his impressive background and his methodical approach to his craft.

“His dedication to knowing how to make the best possible cocktails out of what spirits we make here is outstanding,” Ragghianti said. “He is also so approachable. We are on cloud nine to have him here.”

Bustamante feels the same way.

“What they did to reinvent this space is amazing, down to the last detail,” Bustamante said of Kingfly, which refurbished the space that was formerly the furniture store Artistry and, originally, a horse stable. “We could host multiple events here at the same time because of how the space is designed. It’s amazing.”

Bustamante said he is working on changing some of the cocktail choices and expanding the food menu. He’s also looking at adding more coffee selections and choice of pastries, as well as creating a spirit-free cocktail so that “everyone can feel welcome at Kingfly.”

Bustamante, who went to school for film and writing, struggled to find work in the entertainment business, so he took and office job and just “fell into bartending,” he said.

“Bartending is an artistic and creative outlet,” he said. “This is my career, and I take it very seriously. I do it responsibly and with enjoyment. I like to show people a good time. It is still fun for me. I get paid to have fun and, working here, the sky’s the limit with what we can do and where we can go.”

Kingfly Spirits is located at 2613 Smallman St. in the Strip District

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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