02.03.2009

20 hidden bars in Guardian | I like to announce: the End of Speakeasy Bars

Philip Duff was so kind to upload an article from the Guardian : "Let us take you to a secret bar we know...".  20 cool places around the world to have a good drink. Some of them I never heard of - good to have new MUST VISIT places on the list: any recommendations?
This article reminds me, to write about something a like to announce since a few month: The End of Speakeasy Bars has come!
Don‘t get me wrong. The grand old Master of a speakeasy styled bars, Sasha, build 2000 this outstanding MLK  & HNY in NY and give an earthquake influence to the bar business.
Sasha set a new bench mark for any professional bartender. MLK & HNY set new standards for barflies and tenders.
  • small bar, cosy place, hidden/ no public view
  • „Some“ House-rules, to guarantee a relaxed atmosphere
  • connected / access to people who love good cocktails
  • best quality, expensive, but no stupid brand calling
  • selection of rare and "unknown" spirits
  • well educated bartenders  - full of passion
  • Very good Knowledge of classic cocktails

So... from 2000, we started to equate this list of bench mark points for a good bar „bartenders love“ with the word „speakeasy bar“. We should stop that asap. In germany, but also all over the world, I noticed bars witch call themselves speakeasy bars. And the only reason therefore in my opinion is - to use it as a marketing tool.  Now, while more and more media gets interested in good bars, classic Cocktails and also „speakeasy“ - some bar owners and PR people try to make money out of this synonym for a good bar.
In the last few years, their opened a few really good bars around the globe and they are often named „speakeasy“  - but what we actually would love to say is that they „fit“ in our „Top End Bench Mark List“.
The „new“, self-appointed, speakeasies just like to get the fame and the public/Media attention while abusing this glorious description.
They start making a game of getting the entrance and declare more and more bumptious house rules... Why? ... To get the attention of media.
A „Speakeasy“ with a website, a blog, a social network page or a PR ? Come on! You can be one of the worlds best bars without being a speakeasy - But if you are a speakeasy you are NOT automatically a good bar.
Drinking in a bar to me is a relaxing, but serious „waste“ of time. Stop making a game out of it. Some modern speakeasies are a kind of DISNEY LAND for me ... I just want to have a good atmosphere, a good drink and a good host. I am an adult. I don‘t need entertaining and game-playing in a bar.