Sean Umstead


Years of Participation


Sean Umstead is one of the creative forces behind Durham, NC's Kingfisher Cocktail Bar, QueenBurger and Queeny's -- with partner Michelle Vanderwalker. Their seasonal cocktail bar located in Durham draws inspiration from North Carolina’s farms, offering a rare, year-long view into each season through innovative ground-to-glass cocktails. Umstead -- named an “Imbibe 75” mixologist – is recognized as one of North Carolina’s most imaginative bar experts. Vine Pair named Kingfisher among the “10 Best New Cocktail Bars of 2019” and Tales of the Cocktail’s 2020 Spirited Awards nominated Kingfisher as a “Regional Top 10 Honoree.” In 2021, Umstead and Vanderwalker expanded their dynamic brand with the community in mind at Queeny’s – a neighborhood bar and grill, coupled with a bookshop and podcast studio. In 2022, these trailblazers opened QueenBurger -- their backyard burger bar in the American Tobacco Campus – one of Eater’s “11 Hottest Restaurants in the Triangle.”
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