Happy Quagmire

Best Pittsburgh economic development news going into 2006:
When former FreeMarkets executives Ron Langer, Scott Ambrose and John Benzinger worked at the then tech start-up's Seventh Avenue offices in the early part of the decade, they found it difficult to leave work each day without grabbing a beer together at the Seventh Avenue Grill.

Now that FreeMarkets has merged into Ariba Inc. and the trio has scattered to new jobs around the city, they still can't miss a little after-work alcohol elixir routine. But they needed a new hangout. So they opened their own bar. Earlier this week, the threesome launched Quagmires, a renovated bar on East Carson Street across from the buzzing up-and-coming tech mecca -- SouthSide Works.

Formerly known as Eli's Place, the guys spruced up the bar with paint purchased with money they earned from FreeMarkets stocks and are hoping to draw in a hodge-podge of the old and new -- Eli's used to be a South Side locals and steelworkers hangout. The old crowd is, of course, very welcome and Mr. Langer hopes to lure the growing tech crowd working at firms across the street.

"It's kind of funny," Mr. Langer said of the thirtysomething trio. "We all had the same dream to own a bar."

Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05365/630435.stm


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