You may be familiar with the mustachioed man behind Sam and Gabe’s bar. Andrew Scheiwe has been mixing drinks and entertaining patrons of both locations for a total of seven years. Nowadays you’ll find him slinging cocktails at the downtown location at the Lyon, but Scheiwe started out at the Urbandale location with a little help from his folks. His parents were regulars at the original location and friends with previous owners, so when Andrew was getting burned out working the late night party bar scene, they suggested he come for dinner with them at Sam and Gabe’s. After meeting with the owner and bar manager and hitting it off, the rest, as they say, is history. Scheiwe started on the well, and with his experience at the fast paced party bars, he was quick but didn’t have much facetime with customers. This was perfect for the self-proclaimed shy and awkward kid. But you wouldn’t know that by meeting Andrew behind the bar today. His confidence in his craft comes from self-training and motivation to stay current in his field. As he developed in the fine dining world, Andrew found his way out of his shell through knowledge; he explains, “I can tell people stories about what they’re enjoining and make them enjoy it more.” Scheiwe is always good for a quick fact or anecdote about most spirits, and he was one of first bartenders in Iowa to be recognized by the United States Bartender’s Guild.
He’s popular behind the bar and many of his regulars from the Urbandale location have made the trek to visit him at the Lyon. Thanks to his iconic curled mustache, people have begun to recognize him away from the bar as well. In a sense he has become a part of the Sam and Gabe’s brand, when asked how he felt about that he chuckled and said, “I can’t ever imagine leaving this place because of the people I’ve met. They know where to find me.” It’s those people who have made Sam and Gabe’s special for Andrew. He says the perfect bartender is three things, equal parts rock star, sage, and mixologist; good bartender will know how to entertain, when to advise, and how to make a good drink! Some of Andrew’s more rock star-like qualities come out when he’s tossing bottles in the air or lighting drinks ablaze, and he proves himself a mixologist time over time (order The Immigrant to witness the aforementioned cocktail on fire). As for the sage advice you’ll have to experience that yourself.