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UK leads the way with pop-up bar trend

The UK is awash with pop-up bars but it “will be some time” before the burgeoning trend catches on abroad, a leading bar consultant claims.

The High Low pop-up bar in Seattle, serves a selection of coffee-based cocktails two nights a week

Pop-ups are rapidly building a presence all over the over the UK, and not just in London with cities including Manchester and Edinburgh also experiencing a sudden increase.

Meanwhile, foreign markets including the US, Australia and Asia have not experienced quite the same boom as the UK.

Bar consultant Jamie Jones – who has opened no fewer than 10 pop-up bars across the country, including Fever-Tree’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic pop-up in London’s Hoxton Square – said: “The UK is leading the way.

“The rest of the world hasn’t quite caught on yet though. Australia has nothing on the scale of what we are seeing in the UK; New York has some pop-ups, but they tend to be more at events, and in Asia there really isn’t much at all.

“The way it’s been going, I think it will be some time before it does grow in different countries.

“But if you can get that buzz going, or get a brand to invest in your idea, then there’s no telling what the pop-up culture will experience next.”

Echoing his stance Jon French, manager of Seattle-based coffee shop Anchored Ship, which currently hosts his own pop-up bar two nights a week, The High Low.

“I really am not aware of anyone else doing anything of a similar concept,” French explained. “That kind of blew my mind a bit, as, personally, I think pop-up bars are such an interesting idea with so much potential.

“I would be very surprised if over the next year or two we didn’t see them really start to pick up pace.”

This week, Jones will moderate a seminar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, titled Pop Up the Ladder and Own a Bar, to highlight the benefits of pop-up bars.

“It’s a global platform to show people how I see pop-up bars growing, the benefits they bring to the industry, and opportunities they present for bartenders,” he added.

“They’re the perfect outlet for bartenders to pursue other creative ideas that would be out of place in their regular bars.”

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