Hottest bar openings in October 2021By Kate Malczewski
From a drinking den celebrating all things agave in London to a lush rooftop venue in Washington DC, these are the new bars you need to add to your bucket list.
Scouting out new places to grab a cocktail in London? October saw a variety of exciting bar openings across the city, from a swanky Soho cabaret to the much-anticipated Brixton outpost of Tequila bar Hacha.
Meanwhile, New York City was graced with the revival of a beloved Martini bar, and Washington DC gained a rooftop watering hole boasting impressive views of the historic city.
Read on for our pick of the best bar openings from last month – and for more, check out our list of September’s launches.
Hacha Brixton, London
Last month, industry veterans Deano Moncrieffe and Emma Murphy opened the doors to Hacha Brixton, a new outpost of their acclaimed Dalston bar.
Like the original location, the South London branch has a strong focus on all things agave spirits. It offers Moncrieffe’s signature Mirror Margarita, but also features a full list of newly developed drinks – including the Pear & Nutmeg Spritz, a seasonal highlight.
The new venue sits across two storeys, with the 50-cover bar upstairs and a bottle shop on the ground floor. The retail area also features seating, so you can purchase a bottled Mirror Margarita and enjoy a glass of it before taking the rest home.
Side Bar at Ogden’s Own, Ogden, UT
Ogden’s Own, the largest independent craft distillery in the state of Utah, has created a cocktail bar on the grounds of its distillery. Its menu – developed by Ogden’s Own president Mark Fine and bar consultant Emily Yett – uses spirits from the producer’s portfolio, and features four sections: Sweet & Fruity, Sour & Tart, Spicy, and Spirit Forward. The bar also serves up a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails.
London Gin Club, London
Still riding the gin wave? You’re in luck. Inception Group, the hospitality company behind London venues such as Mr Foggs and Cahoots, has revived Soho stalwart The London Gin Club. The venue first launched in 2012, but was forced to close in April 2019 due to damage from the construction of the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station.
Under Inception’s ownership, the bar now features more than 100 gins, from classics to hard-to-find bottles. It also offers G&Ts, gin flights and a selection of 10 gin-based cocktails.
Lucky Schmuck, Barcelona
The team behind ‘five star dive bar’ Two Schmucks added a venue called Lucky Schmuck to their rapidly growing Barcelona hospitality empire last month, joining the flagship bar and their new restaurant Fat Schmuck, which opened earlier this year.
Lucky Schmuck is a party bar at its core, complete with a karaoke room, a retro American diner vibe and capacity for 100 customers. To keep service swift the team serves up cocktails on tap, including a Frozen Irish Coffee, and a menu of American comfort food is also on offer. Plus it’s located on the same street as Two Schmucks and Fat Schmuck, so guests can plan a full evening of eating and bar hopping.
Temple Bar, NYC
From 1989 to 2017, Temple Bar was a hotspot for Martinis in New York City’s NoHo neighbourhood. Now hospitality veterans Maneesh K Goyal, David Rabin, Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross have brought it back to life.
The resurrected venue remains loyal to the original concept by maintaining its dark, moody atmosphere, and by offering a variety of Martini riffs. The bar will be led by head bartender Samantha Casuga, who previously worked for acclaimed NYC drinking den The Dead Rabbit.
Lady Bird, Washington DC
For playful cocktails and impressive views of Washington DC’s iconic buildings, head to Lady Bird, the new rooftop bar at the Kimpton Banneker Hotel. The relaxed space features a massive mural painted by artist Megan Biram, plus fire pits and low-slung lounge chairs.
On the drinks menu you’ll find classic serves such as the Garibaldi and the Harvey Wallbanger, plus a few internationally inspired cocktails (for instance, United Kingdom is a mix of Ford’s Gin, tonic and crushed peppercorns, while Japan marries Suntory, soda and grapefruit mist).
Louche Soho, London
London has a new spot for live music in the form of Louche, a bar that draws inspiration from the nightlife of the city’s Soho neighbourhood in the 1920s. Set in a three-storey refurbished townhouse, the venue is decked out with wooden panelling, ‘inconspicuous’ alcoves and photographs of prominent Soho figures.
Its two bars serve up a selection of riffs on classic cocktails – we’re eyeing the Umamartini, a gin serve boosted by fino Sherry, elderflower and olive brine. Grab a drink and take a seat for one of the venue’s regular live music and cabaret performances.