Summer’s hottest global bar openings
As the Northern Hemisphere marks the autumn solstice, we look back at the 10 hottest bars that opened around the world this summer.
From basement bars that take guests to the mystical underwater worlds of South America, to rooftop venues that offer 360º degree views of one of the best cities in the world – this summer definitely brought the heat when it comes to hot bar openings.
Here, we look at 10 of the best new additions to the global bar scene between June and August.
If you would like your new bar to feature in our next seasonal round-up, send details to email@example.com.
For more new bar openings, check out our favourite openings from this spring.
Situated on the lower ground level of 20 Berkeley, Nipperkin has been one of the most talked-about London bar openings of the summer. With a list of expertly mixed cocktails from a carefully curated menu of in-house spirits, the beverage concept focuses on seasonality, locality and an ethical approval to the environment, mirroring the ethos behind the restaurant above’s culinary offering.
Expect simplistically designed cocktails that are, of course, anything but simple. Drawing inspiration from culinary elements, bar manager Angelos Bafas has brought a unique perspective to his creations, with the extraction of distinctive scents and profiles. Two standout creations from his cocktail menu include the ‘Aged’ Kelp – a blend of seaweed aged for half an hour, paired with fresh Norfolk mint alongside roasted Kent hazelnuts; and the Black Mustard, a straight-up Gimlet showcasing the versatility and boldness of British ingredients, including Dorset wasabi distillate mixed with Cotswolds apple eau de vie.
Sign Bar, Austin
Configured in a shuttered automobile service station in East Austin and featuring bright, retro neon signs both indoors and outdoors, Sign Bar is the new joint that has been drawing in drinkers this summer like moths to a – you guessed it – neon light.
Decorated with more than 75 signs from ‘legendary’ local businesses such as Nutty Brown Cafe, Catfish Parlor, Dart Bowl, Lucky Lounge, and Night Hawk, Sign Bar takes guests on a nostalgic journey down memory lane into both old and new Austin.
“What originally started as a passion project over 10 years ago of collecting deserted yet legendary bar and restaurant signs from Austin forgotten, soon evolved into something so much more,” said founder Matt Luckie. “By collaborating with local artists, sign makers, interior designers and fabricators, we have created a concept not only unique to Austin and Texas, but the country as a whole. We are excited to have guests in to see the space come to life and reminisce on some of Austin’s most iconic spots.”
Named after the area which spans from mid-coast Georgia to North Carolina, famed for its Bourbon and rye, Lowcountry is the new east London bar that is highlighting American whiskey and its prominence throughout the ages. With enough room for 28 drinkers, the cocktail menu offers ‘Signature’, ‘Historical’ and ‘Classic’ cocktails.
The Lowcountry ‘Signature’ cocktails focus heavily on clever mixology techniques, such as fat-washing, maceration, gelling and infusions. Expect to find serves such as the Hot Tomato, made by combining tomato water, jalapeno-infused Tequila, and basil oil with salt; and the Fat-Fashioned, created with bacon-washed Bourbon, maple syrup and creole bitters.
Meanwhile on the ‘Historical’ cocktail list the team have focused on reviving forgotten favourites, while the ‘Classics’ showcase Savannah-born mixologist Ryan Sheehan’s take on universal favourites; Negronis, Margaritas, Gimlets and the like.
The Lowcountry house cocktail is a traditional Boilermaker, while a Martini flight, showcasing five Martinis popular from 1888 to 2023, is also available to order for two people.
Octo at Amazonico, London
If you descend the golden-clad stairs hidden beyond Amazonico’s kitchen, you will discover Octo, the new and exclusive destination cocktail bar that has been inspired by the mysterious cenotes of South America.
Down in this glowing turquoise and teal basement, the team has turned to rare and exotic ingredients, paired with ornate glassware, to create a cocktail menu of both delicious and beautiful serves. Expect to sip on libations such as the signature Sea-Tron, created with with Cîroc Vodka, Cointreau, and tropical fruits, finished with Ruinart Blanc de Blanc; and Octo’s take on a classic Manhattan, known as The Ritual, made with Zacapa XO Rum, Mancino Chinato, and Pussanga with notes of coffee and Brazilian bitters.
The soundtrack is provides by Octo’s resident DJs Andy Faisca, Tony Cortez and Trys, who seek to transport guests to the heart of Latin America.
Unlisted, New York
Located on the 11th floor of the newly re-launched Untitled Hotel at 3 Freeman Alley, this new rooftop bar is a celebration of the intersection of Lower East Side nostalgia, street art, and music, and modern, ‘genre-defining’ cocktail culture.
With a 360º view of the New York City skyline from every seat, this 2,300 square-foot space boasts soft velvety furniture in hues of green, pink, and mustard yellow juxtaposed with cold industrial surfaces illuminated by a sparkling disco ball. The perfect mood-setter for a night of cocktails that pay homage to the venue’s historic location.
While The Red Handed cocktail, made with lemon verbena, apple and Irish whiskey is served in a custom spray paint can in a nod to the neighbourhood’s street art and creators, The Rosenwach cocktail (chamomile, honey, pisco) is presented in a 3D-printed water tower vessel – representing the iconic Long Island City water tank. Meanwhile, savoury and sweet bar nuts are served in a mini NYC trash can. You can’t get more authentic than that.
Mr Fogg’s Hat Tavern & Gin Club, London
Having taken over the site of former London Gin Club on Great Chapel Street in Soho, the Mr Fogg’s team has, in their typical fashion, turned to their historical surroundings to create the ninth venue in Inception Group’s Mr Fogg’s portfolio.
For Mr Fogg’s Hat Tavern & Gin Club, inspiration has been drawn from the former life of the building opposite, Henry Heath’s Hat Factory, which was established in the 1822.
The space is set over two floors, with a traditional Victorian tavern upstairs and a gin club downstairs offering a vast selection of juniper-based spirits alongside immersive cocktail experiences.
The bar features a long bar and poseur tables, crafted into display cases, as well as a large banquet table at the back of the room, ideal for bigger groups. Reclaimed, antique wood panelling adorns the walls and a statement bronze effect ceiling is almost as much of a talking point as the drinks on offer.
Four Walls, Nashville
Located inside The Joseph Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and led by industry veteran Kenneth Vanhooser (formerly of The NoMad, Boloud Sud, and Le Loup), Four Walls boasts a cocktail menu that has been meticulously curated and plays with a medley of Southern and Italian flavours.
On the Southern side, you can find thinly sliced green tomatoes in the Paisano (house olive oil vodka, manzanilla Sherry, green tomato, house bitters, basil oil), while on the Italian side, there is a dedicated menu of La Famiglia Negronis’ – nine variations on the classic drink including an aged Negroni, a Boulevardier, and the Kingston Negroni, made with Jamaican rum.
Dover Yard, London
Dover Yard was one of the most hotly anticipated bars to open in London this summer. Located at 1 Hotel Mayfair, it offers visitors an experience driven by the beauty and simplicity of nature with a sustainable and conscious approach.
Led by director of bars, Matteo Carretta, the drinks menu showcases the ‘underdogs’ of classic cocktails with fresh, intricate takes on their formulation. Everything listed on the menu, from ingredients to spirit supplier, has been carefully considered to ensure minimal wastage – with many of the cocktails utilising repurposed ingredients from the neighbouring kitchen at Dovetale, led by Tom Sellers, and across the hotel.
The Cherry Manhattan is constructed using The Macallan 12 Double Oak, finished with a cherry brined in excess Pinot Noir offered from Dovetale, while The Champagne Martini uses wasted Champagne with a concentrate of botanicals to create a completely unique, acidic vermouth to work alongside the guests’ clear spirit of choice.
Topside Bar, Istanbul
Featuring cocktails elevated with flavours discovered along the Silk Road routes, Istanbul’s new bar, Topside, is modelled on a vintage grand yacht and enriched with memorabilia from the boats, ships and ferries found along this international waterway.
The menu name-checks a range of premium spirits, and also includes an extensive selection of whiskies, alongside Turkish wines, local craft beers, and an enticing selection of small plates.
Expect serves such as the Istanbul, created with Douzico, Otto’s vermouth, fig and rose jam, lime, and House of Wisdom, comprising mirra-washed rum, Antica Formula, Campari, chocolate and falernum, which are accompanied by a soundtrack of lounge music and sounds of the East during the day, and Istanbul’s ethnic house music beats as evenings progress.
Coco Boho, Edinburgh
Coco Boho is the lively late-night destination that opened its doors beneath Tigerlily on George Street in Scotland’s capital this summer.
Offering an intimate setting with a unique ‘rough luxe’ décor, the space is owned by Edinburgh’s Montpeliers Group, the team behind Montpeliers, Tigerlily, Rabble, Candy Bar, Indigo Yard and Eastside, which has promised to bring a whole new experience to Edinburgh’s late-night bar scene.
Expect disco drinks and sharers shaken, stirred and flared at Coco Boho from drinks consultant, Joey Medrington. The menu features a range of cocktails priced from £5, including Frozen Margaritas and signature serves like Grey Goose No.5 Love Potion (Grey Goose La Poire, raspberry and rosé), High Voltage (Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, yuzu, mango, pressed lemon, egg white) and Cosmic Colada (Bacardí Caribbean Spice, coconut, raspberry, pineapple and cream). There are also draught beers, wines, slushies and a beautiful gantry bursting with spirits.