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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Three lifelong Sykesville residents open new cocktail bar on Main Street

The Wittig family of Sykesville brought into the world a new baby girl and a new cocktail bar within the span of a few months.

The Local Motive, the Wittigs’ new cocktail bar on Main Street in downtown Sykesville opened on Jan. 12. Juniper Wittig was born in late September, as her parents, Colleen and Tyler Wittig, were deep in planning mode for their new venture.

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The Local Motive, a new cocktail bar on Sykesville's Main Street, opened Jan. 12 and was created by three Sykesville residents, Colleen Wittig, her husband, Tyler Wittig, left, and his brother, Michael Wittig, right.

Tyler and Colleen Wittig, both 30, met while attending Liberty High School in Eldersburg. They graduated in 2010, then reconnected at college, working together as bartenders since 2015.

The two worked at Market Tavern in Sykesville for about 6½ years and when that establishment’s owners decided to move to Taneytown, the Wittigs decided to jump on the opportunity and take over the popular location, giving it a new spin.

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“It was such a good little watering hole for the community; it was something special,” Colleen said of Market Tavern, which closed in October after eight years on Sykesville’s Main Street.

Colleen and Tyler developed the idea for The Local Motive with Tyler’s brother Michael Wittig, 22, and partnered with Tyler’s parents, Karen and Mike Wittig, making the new business a family affair.

Since all three Wittigs grew up and worked in Sykesville and know the community well, they wanted to use The Local Motive to harbor community and bring some fun to the small town.

She explained that the space welcomes guests to fun, connect with people, feel special and enjoy a great drink and a bite to eat. Community and inclusivity are at the forefront of their business — “the locals are our motive,” Colleen said, explaining the inspiration behind their business name and model.

All three work full time at The Local Motive, which serves cocktails, snacks, salads, sandwiches and even mocktails.

“We do it all! We all bartend, make food, develop menus and place orders,” Colleen said.

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Since Colleen was pregnant when they developed the menu last summer, the idea for mocktails was natural, she said.

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Interior of The Local Motive, a new cocktail bar on Sykesville's Main Street, opened Jan. 12, created by three Sykesville residents, Colleen Wittig, her husband, Tyler Wittig, and his brother, Michael Wittig.

Julie Della-Maria, Downtown Sykesville Connection executive director, said the Wittigs’ passion for community gives The Local Motive a “cozy, unique and artsy feel.”

“We pride ourselves here in Sykesville with businesses that are one of a kind, and I think that is what they accomplished with their bar,” Della-Maria said.

The Local Motive, a new cocktail bar on Sykesville's Main Street, opened Jan. 12 and was created by three Sykesville natives, Colleen Wittig, her husband, Tyler Wittig, right, and his brother, Michael Wittig, left.

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