Will Groves

After a long and illustrious stint at Butterjoint which turned him into one of Pittsburgh’s most innovative and popular bartenders, Will Groves recently moved on to work as a full-time bar and cocktail consultant. He’s currently working to help establish the bar program coming to Marty’s Market in the Strip.

On Tuesday, it was my girlfriend’s birthday, and she specifically requested fried chicken for her birthday dinner. We went to Carmi Soul Food, and it was awesome. It’s this small soul food restaurant right on Western Avenue on the North Side, and it’s some of the best fried chicken I’ve had anywhere. The breading isn’t too thick, but it’s really crispy and well-seasoned. I had cornbread stuffing, candied yams and cornbread, and she had greens, cornbread and mac and cheese.

The service was really friendly and we pretty much had the place all to ourselves. Fried chicken isn’t a thing I let myself eat too often, but I really like it when I do, and this was far and away the best fried chicken I’ve had in Pittsburgh.

Though Groves—a self-described morning person who cares little for the schedule of a full-time bartender—recently left Butterjoint, he’s currently moonlighting at the Independent Brewing Company every Wednesday evening as a part of the bar’s Waikiki Wednesdays program, along with tiki colleague Lucky Munro.

“I’m just Lucky’s intern,” Groves says. “It’s Lucky’s and my date night, and it’s a lot of fun for both of us.”

Matthew Wein

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.