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Ryan Chetiyawardana opens Lyaness bar in London

Award-winning bar owner Ryan Chetiyawardana has opened his new Lyaness venue in London, which features a drinks menu that “democratises the way that cocktails are consumed”.

Lyaness in the Sea Containers hotel on London’s Southbank

The new bar on London’s Southbank replaced Chetiyawardana’s award-winning cocktail den Dandelyan in the Sea Containers hotel. In October last year, Chetiyawardana – aka Mr Lyan – said he planned for the site to “rise again as something brighter, shinier and more fitting”.

Lyaness, which opens its doors today (29 March), moves away from a traditional cocktail menu to offer a “playful approach to the drinking experience” with a drinks list of seven ingredients.

The new concept gives guests the power to choose what they want to drink based on “an ingredient familiarity from a more established food connection”.

The seven core ingredients include collaborations with Copenhagen-based distillery Empirical Spirits and independent Scotch whisky bottler Compass Box.

The “forward-thinking yet accessible” flavours include the Infinite Banana, an alternative to the ‘fake’ banana taste that is created through different techniques from parallel fermentation to precision use of different parts of everyday bananas.

The Empirical Spirits x Mr Lyan collaboration has also seen the Lyan team work with alumni from two Michelin-starred restaurant Noma to “challenge what a spirit can be” and bring “new flavours and techniques to a wider audience without alienation”.

“When we opened Dandelyan four years ago, it had a genuine relevance to what was happening in the industry and succeeded in shaping a movement towards sustainable drinking across London,” said Chetiyawardana.

“Lyaness acts as an evolution of this legacy and has been born out of the desire to promote change as a positive approach and start afresh with a dynamic new approach.

“We’ve chosen to move away from the traditional cocktail menu and instead focus on seven common ingredients that have an element of familiarity to most people, allowing guests to really engage in their drinking choices and inject a whole new level of participation and fun into the experience of drinking and choosing cocktails.”

Chetiyawardana has once again teamed up with creative director Jacu Strauss and his team at Lore Studio on the design of Lyaness. Lore Studio led the design of Dandelyan and the new Super Lyan bar in Amsterdam.

The design of Lyaness puts the focus on two features: the theatre of the bar and its views across the River Thames.

Lyanness features colours of pale blues and soft greys in the lounge furniture and seating area to channel the 1920s with a hint of 1970s retro.

Earlier this year, Chetiyawardana revealed plans to open new bars in Amsterdam and Washington DC, marking his first international ventures outside of London.

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