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Mr Lyan opens Silver Lyan bar in US

Award-winning bar owner Ryan Chetiyawardana opened his “opulent” cocktail den Silver Lyan last weekend, marking his first US outpost.

Silver Lyan opened in Washington’s Riggs hotel on Friday (7 February)

Silver Lyan opened in the Riggs hotel in Washington, DC, on Friday (7 February). The subterranean cocktail bar was developed by Chetiyawardana and is said to “re-imagine the traditional hotel bar”.

According to Alex Lawrence, global head of bar operations for the Mr Lyan group, Silver Lyan is the most opulent of the group’s spaces, but retains its signature “tongue‐in‐cheek” flourishes.

“The tagline for the concept is ‘cultural exchange’,” he told The Spirits Business last month.

“The space and the branding are very much juxtaposed. It’s going to feel very welcoming to have a bar that feels decadent but really fun at the same time.”

The “warm and welcoming space” was developed by Chetiyawardana and Jacu Strauss, creative director at hotel operator Lore Group.

Designed in “tribute to the past, present and future” of the building it is housed in, Silver Lyan features a palette of oak wood flooring, marquetry work on the walls, an illuminated Japanese-style Nori curtain entrance and “pops of colour throughout”.

Chetiyawardana, Lawrence and the rest of the Lyan Group worked hard to develop a concept for Silver Lyan that would resonate with drinkers in Washington, which Lawrence says “took time” and a “lot of work, adjustment and learning”.

Cocktails on offer at the new Washington hotel bar include HMS Resolute, which combines Fords Officers’ Reserve gin, fino, lacto-berry and falernum tea; the Driftwood Margarita, made with Altos blanco Tequila, Empirical Spirits Pasilla Chilli, corn curaçao, Indian lime and roasted tattie salt; and the Presidential Gift, which blends “very old Highland Aberfeldy Scotch”, local honey, applejacked bitters and gold cherry.

Starting from scratch

Silver Lyan marks Chetiyawardana and the Lyan Group’s third bar opening in the past 12 months, following Lyaness in London and Super Lyan in Amsterdam.

Lawrence said the experience of opening the Washington bar was very different to Lyaness and Super Lyan as the team “had the privilege of basically starting from scratch”

He said: “I feel like we’ve done this one properly, which is important because, as with anything that is taken to America, it can be very challenging. We really have one shot to get this venue right.”

To read our full interview with Alex Lawrence, look out for the February 2020 issue of The Spirits Business.

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