Rising Star Bartender Kristina Magro of Prairie School - Biography

Chicago, Illinois

May 2018

When Kristina Magro was 19, she received an emergency call from a close friend’s uncle. He needed her to cover a bar shift so he could make it to a softball game. Magro got there, popped a bunch of Bud Lights, and poured shots of whiskey, and the bar had some of its highest sales that night. She was officially hired the next day. From there, Magro made her rounds at various bars in the Chicago suburbs, and made her move to the city proper when she reached legal drinking age.
For most of her career, Magro has worked with Rising Stars alums Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner. She started at beer-focused Pub Royale Tavern. She opened Queen Mary and has held posts at industry-favorite Sportsman’s Club and Latin-infused Estero. When Magro grew bored with beer and volume, Heisler paired her with a new and ambitious cocktail-focused project: Jim Meehan’s Prairie School. 

​Her loyalty and skills earned her the job with little more than a Meehan meet-and-greet, and in her time there, Magro worked to define the quintessential Midwestern cocktail experience—one that embodied hospitality, seasonality, sustainability, and community. Prairie School had a white-hot run and shut its doors in spring 2018. In her next endeavor, Magro will continue to embrace, welcome, and lead her city.