Chic cocktail bars are the ultimate attraction in London. The cosmopolitan city counts numerous trendy hideouts, however the 125-year-old American Bar located in The Savoy hotel has shown itself to be more than just trendy. From celebrities’ portraits to made-to-measure suited waiters, the piano bar buzzes with a jazz ambience. Declan McGurk is the reigning bar manager who takes part in the magical evenings. Awarded in 2016 as Europe’s best bar, McGurk reveals the formula of his accomplishment.
Following the huge success that The American Bar has had in New York and London, what's the secret of this success?
It is all about the guest experience. A bar's success is totally dependent on the experience a guest receives from the moment they arrive until departure.
The American Bar here in London is located inside the world known Savoy hotel, what were the factors involved in deciding to partner up?
The American Bar isn't a partnership of the Savoy it is very much its beating heart. We have been in our current location since 1904 and the bar has always been a key part to the hotel.
How would you describe the bar in three words?
Magical, Timeless and Elegant.
Now that the cocktail bar has won the award of the best bar in Europe in 2016, what are the new projects for the near future?
Our main objective remains the same and that is based around the guest experience. We are in the process of currently writing a cocktail menu where we are really looking at the guests experience so that we can enhance it as much as possible.
Do you think the bar could win the same title for 2017?
That is not for me to decide but I shall continue to drive the bar forward in the same vein as previous years. What are the best-selling cocktails? And what are your recommendations?
The best selling on the menu is Abbey Road. It is such a unique location that people feel drawn to it. I personally recommend the Pickering Place cocktail as it brings a cocktail story to life. With so many options for a drink or two in London, the decision can seem impossible. Unlike other places in the capital, The American Bar remains unique and exclusive.