Regina Christiansen was born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The daughter of an art teacher and an art historian, childhood involved summer trips to Italy, and favorite foods like finochio, scamorza, and mortadella.
As a teenager, fueled by a love of botany and biology, Regina became involved in food politics and NYC’s Greenmarkets. The summer before senior year of high school was spent as a farm intern in Sullivan county, where she returned to work for two more years after graduation. This was followed by a season growing vegetables for a CSA.
She returned to the City in late 2002, when she became involved in the service industry. She has been a barista, a waiter, a manager and a bartender since. This included over seven years service at Long Tan, Rory Dwyer’s restaurant and bar that formerly occupied the Blueprint space. Torn between her seemingly dueling interests, she spent several of these years managing the Union Square markets and farming for Windfall Farms in Orange County half of the week, and working her bar and restaurant jobs in Brooklyn the other. In the last five years, she has focused her career on tending bar, honing her cocktail skills and style.
Rory Dwyer has come full circle. He poured his first Guinness in Dublin at the historic Palace Bar, a Victorian pub known for serving “intellectual refreshments” to famous writers and their wealthy patrons. He worked his way through Manhattan at Au Bar in the ’80s and at Raoul’s in the ’90s. But his eye was always on Brooklyn. In 2001 Rory heralded the rise of Park Slope nightlife when he opened Long Tan on an empty stretch of 5th Avenue. A modern Thai bistro and late-night watering hole, Long Tan inaugurated his signature style: high quality, low fuss.
Keen to support talent and expand opportunities, Rory has partnered with local bartenders to create niche bars. He continued the successful streak of fulfilling needs not yet expressed by opening Commonwealth with partner Ray Gish in 2005. Renowned for its jukebox and personality, Commonwealth attracts a loyal neighborhood following. During one blazing week in 2009 he launched beer-driven Highdive with Mark Korns and Ray Gish followed by the revitalized classic Brooklyn bar Sharlene’s, with Sharlene Frank and Ray Gish.
With his latest venture Blueprint, Rory distills a lifetime of thinking about and creating spaces into a drop of easy perfection. With partner Regina Christiansen at the helm, Blueprint promises glamour and tradition without airs.