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Hottest bar openings in January 2021

From a lakeside pop-up in Melbourne to a saké specialist in downtown Singapore, here is our roundup of the most exciting new openings around the world.

Drinks with a view: Yarra Kitchen & Bar features in our roundup

January may be a tough month, with Christmas hangovers lingering on and calls for moderation shared at any given moment. However, that hasn’t stopped the world’s brightest and best bartenders from opening exciting new watering holes in recent weeks.

This month, we uncovered new openings from London to Singapore, including the latest project from former Artesian head bartender Remy Savage and an open air bar overlooking Melbourne’s business district.

If it’s saké you like, this month’s roundup also features a London saké specialist and a saké-focussed cocktail bar in central Singapore.

Take a look through our gallery to find out more about the hottest bars that opened in January.

Missed our roundup of new openings in 2020? Click here to see which bars caught our eye through the year. 

Yarra Kitchen & Bar, Melbourne

Located in Melbourne’s Southbank, Yarra Kitchen & Bar highlights Australian produce through its menu of snacks and Spritzes.

Open seven days a week until the end of May, the casual dining and drinking spot offers views across Melbourne’s city centre, which guests can absorb while sampling a menu of dishes that celebrate Australia’s native ingredients.

On the drinks menu, guests will find Spritzes including an Elderflower Spritz, Pink Gin Spritz and the Sicilian Spritz.

Address: Sandridge Wharf, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia

A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London

A Bar with Shapes for a Name opened in east London just before the latest lockdown across the UK.

The latest project from former Artesian head bartender Remy Savage and collaborators Paul Lougrat and Maria Kontorravdis has been inspired by the Bauhaus movement and features drinks made from a pared-back spirits list comprising just 20 bottles.

While currently closed to guests due to the coronavirus pandemic, A Bar with Shapes for a Name is instead serving up home-delivered cocktails, including an Old Fashioned made with Knob Creek Rye whiskey, Green Spot Irish whiskey, grape sugar and quince eau de vie.

Address: 232 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AX

Sakaya, London

Japanese spirits specialist Sakaya has opened in London’s Belgravia, offering a curated selection of Japanese whisky, saké, shōchū, umeshu and yuzushu.

Open at Pantechnicon in Belgravia, Sakaya stocks an extensive Japanese whisky list comprising more than 50 bottlings, including the last two Chichibu London Editions, single malts from Nikka, and vintage releases. Visitors will also be able to find the Karuizawa 1981 Sherry Cask #6056.

Sakaya will also offer tailored tasting experiences in a private tasting room, offering guests the chance to sample rare curated whisky flights with expert Charlie Thomas.

Address: Ground Floor, Pantechnicon, 19 Motcomb Street, London, SW1X 8LB

Sake Labo, Singapore

Sake Labo is a new four-in-one concept from bar operator Envy Hospitality.

The Singapore venue incorporates a retail shopfront, a saké bar, ‘Japas’ Japanese-style tapas dining, and a chef’s table experience. Drinkers at the bar can also sample its own house-blend saké, called Kamonishiki x Sake Labo. This range of saké has been specially brewed and bottled for Sake Labo.

Sake Labo, which means ‘saké lab’ in Japanese, boasts terracotta-coloured interiors and wooden elements that are said to elevate the Japanese-Spanish dining concept.

Address: 29 Stanley Street, Singapore 068738

Lake Club, Melbourne

Now open with views across Albert Park Lake is summer pop-up Lake Club.

Created in partnership between Melbourne’s The Smith Prahran and Power House, this outdoor dining and drinking destination offers casual cocktails, summer snacks and a take-out offering. Sharing dishes on the menu include seafood and salads, while the cocktail menu offers classic serves and signature Spritzes.

Drinks on offer include the Espresso Martini, made with vodka, Kahlúa and coffee, and the White Peach Spritz, a sparkling combination of vodka, honey and lemon.

Address: 34 Lakeside Drive, Albert Park, VIC 3206, Australia

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