Rising Star Bartender Andon Whitehorn of Alewife - Biography

Richmond, VA

March 2022

Andon Whitehorn has always known a few things about himself: He likes working with his hands, on his feet, and creating things for people to enjoy. So growing up in Oklahoma City, Whitehorn played guitar in heavy punk bands while experimenting with food. While working at a local sushi restaurant, Whitehorn began to notice the similarities between Japanese food and the cuisine of his own heritage, the Native American Choctaw tribe. Whitehorn partnered with Chef Colin Stringer to launch Nani, a pop-up turned supper club featuring American-Japanese dishes based around Oklahoma’s indigenous produce and herbs that the two would forage. The concept awarded Whitehorn and Stringer national recognition, including a 2015 Eater Young Gun Award. 

Hoping to expand his skillset, Whitehorn went on to develop and execute the cocktail program at O Bar. Then in 2017, he moved to Middlebury, Vermont and became beverage director of modern Italian restaurant, The Arcadian, while also working on a rice farm. Whitehorn connected with Richmond-based Rising Star Community Bartender Sophia Kim and Rising Stars alum Brandon Peck at the bartender retreat, Camp Runamok. Inspired by the emerging cocktail scene, Whitehorn followed Kim and Peck to Richmond in 2019. Now as the bar manager of Rising Stars Mentor Chef Lee Gregory’s Mid-Atlantic seafood restaurant, Alewife, he builds what he calls, “four dimensional” cocktail experiences. With a major focus on sustainability and sourcing, Whitehorn’s drinks, all named after songs or bands, are precise, lush, and unabashedly geeky.