Union Station, where On My Way Bartending is slated to open on the first floor in early December. (Clancy & Theys Construction Company)

Shaking up the Station

In Eat, November 2022 by Melissa HowsamLeave a Comment

Share this Post

On My Way Bartending opening at Union Station

Spirited news that tracks? On My Way Bartending is slated to open a permanent space on the first floor of Union Station in early December.

The city’s first brick-and-mortar in-house cocktail creation station will house the brand’s uberpopular Mix&Sip mixology classes… and, wait for it, while the classes are the crux, the 1,300-square-foot space will be outfitted with a speakeasy bar and lounge (!)—meaning train travelers can now grab a cocktail and chill at the lounge while they wait to depart. (Hey, airport vibes—sans TSA and traffic!)

And the city is stoked (expect a big grand opening—mayor invite and all). “Raleigh Union Station is not just a transportation hub,” says City of Raleigh Transportation Department Union Station Director Richard Costello. “It has become a destination. With daily Amtrak service; event space; national headquarters and studio for Wine & Design; upcoming food hall featuring The Lunchbox, Crema Coffee and Sticky Buns; and now On My Way Bartending providing Mix&Sip Mixology classes—I can’t be more excited.”

By now, you’ve likely heard of—or experienced—On My Way Bartending’s Mix&Sip interactive bartending classes (not to mention its bonus cocktail kits and mobile bar event concepts) that have been shaking up the scene since inception. 

The brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Ernest and Amanda Gantz, On My Way Bartending burst on the scene in January 2020 with its sellout pop-ups, schooling eager attendees on mixing (and sipping) creative craft ’tails like the pros. 

Flash-forward to a spring pandemic, a smart pivot to crafty kits and an algorithm advantage. As we came out of lockdown, locals looking for event ’tenders kept landing on On My Way’s page—so the trendy bartending concept added a mobile bar concept to its mix.

One of the crafty cocktails you can learn to mix at the Mix&Sip classes.

“It’s funny how the world works,” says Ernest. “We never planned to do kits and events. We just wanted to do classes. But we started getting all these calls, and since our classes [were difficult to hold], we pivoted to the weddings and events—and that just took off for us.” 

The couple serendipitously—and deservedly—acquired the now-defunct The Barbox Co. mobile bar and bartending event services outfit in February, complete with staff, events and the fan-fave mobile converted horse trailer bar.

And while it would be easy to get distracted by a new avenue the public is (literally) drinking in, the couple has never lost sight of the lane they intended to occupy. “The weddings are great, of course,” says Ernest. “But the classes—that’s our niche. That’s where our heart is.” 

Having spent a few years hosting pop-ups around town—from boutiques to museums to Red Hat, and running the gamut from date night to girls’ night to team-building events—the crafty couple knew they needed the permanent space for their budding bar concept.

“We’ve had a great turnout, a diverse crowd—young, old. … It’s just a great experience,” says Ernest. “We knew we needed a full-time spot. So we are blessed to be able to bring it.”

Now, the Union Station outpost is primed to roll out and take the spirits scene by storm. “There’s nothing like this in this area,” says Ernest. “Some bars have mixology classes once a month, but that’s our focus. We’ve made our lane. And it’s just a really dope experience for the area.”

If experiential classes and a speakeasy weren’t dope enough, they’re likely just the beginning of this next chapter. 

“Aside from dining options and mixology classes,” says Costello, “I look forward to partnering with On My Way Bartending to provide more event possibilities here at the station. I believe these incoming tenants add to the vibrant atmosphere of the Warehouse District, as well as what makes Raleigh Union Station an iconic Downtown destination.” Iconic, indeed. Ste. 100, Wed.–Sun. upon open, onmywaybartending.com

On My Way Bartending owner and certified mixologist Ernest Gantz shares his tricks of the trade.

Share this Post

Leave a Comment