Love, Katie Distilling Brings Libations (And A Little Romance) To Sharpsburg

The chic Main Street lounge is a great date-night spot.


Katie Sirianni is a shrewd businesswoman and a hopeless romantic. 

Those character traits collide at her latest venture, Love, Katie Distilling, a chic lounge that opens this week at 816 Main St. in Sharpsburg. Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. 

The 1,000-square-foot storefront is Pittsburgh’s first LGBTQ-owned distillery and it’s a love letter to Sirianni’s girlfriend Jen Procacina. No, seriously — there’s an actual love letter on the back of each bottle! It’s a boozy valentine you can bestow on your partner, your friend or yourself. 

Cocktails also are available if you’re afraid of commitment. 

“I want everyone to feel welcome,” Sirianni says. “Love is love.”Lovekatiecouple

Her 26-gallon still will churn out a smooth, sippable gin to start, but she plans to make vodka and other offerings, too.

In the meantime, the back bar is stocked with Pennsylvania-made libations. Sirianni worked in healthcare for a decade before leaving the field to be her own boss. She’s received expert advice and even some vocational training at several local distilleries such as McLaughlin Distillery in Sewickley and Lawrenceville’s Noir Expedition.

The business is also a family affair with her dad Ben Sirianni helping out and her cousin Brian Zalewski serving as manager and the resident “Swiss Army Knife.” You’ll find their photographs on the walls next to black-and-white portraits of Hollywood icons. For the record, I was the first person to guess that the raven-haired bombshell hanging by the bar was a young Betty White. No one can beat me in “The Golden Girls”-edition of Trivial Pursuit.  

When it comes to the service industry, Zalewski’s definitely traveled down the road and back again. As a teenager, he bussed tables at an Outback Steakhouse and, by age 23, was managing four of the chain’s kitchens. He helped Sirianni launch sips MOBILE BAR CO. The pair flipped vintage horse trailers into rolling watering holes. Sirianni recently said “happy trails” to sips so she could focus on her brick-and-mortar establishment.  

She got the keys to the place on St. Patrick’s Day and took that as a sign of good luck. (Who needs a horseshoe!?)

The decor is elegant, with white marble countertops, chandeliers and a sleek seating area. The music selection matches the interior, with songs by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday on heavy rotation. It will soon be filled with up-and-coming crooners during open mic nights and other events. 

Customers can rent the space for private parties and the team hopes to introduce lunchtime hours in the near future so people can stop in for a mid-day cocktail and a bite provided by a local restaurant partner. Sirianni wants to support the Sharpsburg business district, which recently saw the closure of 4Four6 Distillery.


The cocktail menu will change with the seasons, but after sampling the Watermelon Refresco, a summery mix of vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup, I hope they offer it year-round. It tastes like a watermelon Jolly Rancher. If you were of (or around) legal drinking age in the mid-‘90s, let me assure you that it’s 1,000 times tastier than plopping one of those candies into a bottle of Zima. 

I’m a creature of habit and darkness so the Bad Blood Old Fashioned was my favorite. If you can’t decide, you can get a flight consisting of three beverages. Love, Katie Distilling will also feature local beers and non-alcoholic options.

There’s another liquid tribute to romance on the menu made with gin, elderflower tonic, simple syrup and rosemary bitters. It’s called Love, Jen.

“She’s been the most supportive person in this whole process,” Sirianni says of Procacina. 

Raise one in a toast to the happy couple this weekend. 

Categories: PGHeats