As we fully enter spring, it’s nice to see a strong line-up of rooftop and poolside venues emerge on our list of the most exciting new bars to launch this April. Below, you’ll find a host of cocktail bars around the world that are welcoming guests for the very first time, as well as spin-offs from some of the best-regarded watering holes on the planet. That includes a second outing for famed London speakeasy Nightjar, plus a second dose of Tope, a bar that’s made its name in Portland and now takes its place on the roof of Barcelona’s Hoxton Hotel. If wine is more your thing, Darling in New York (pictured above) is bringing Old World and New World bottles to a very exclusive Park Lane setting. Meanwhile, for those who like their drinking on the experiential side, there’s a bar in Boston that’s channelling the dark arts into its service. Or discover one of two swim-up bars at a new geothermal resort in Iceland that looks set to make many a travel bucket list when it opens later this month.
Global bar launches: April 2022
New York, USA
New York’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’ is about to get a rooftop bar from which to sip wine and soak up the views of Central Park. While you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s unforgettable skyline from floor 47 of new luxury Park Lane Hotel, the interior of Darling bar looks set to be just as dazzling, with enough flora on show for the hotel to describe the setting as ‘a secret garden oasis’. By day, it’s open to hotel guests only, but come nightfall, Darling will welcome the public and will serve Old World and New World wines and extravagant-sounding ‘towers’ of seafood.
Now open, www.parklanenewyork.com/darling-am
Gold Bar at Edition
The Edition hotel group is rolling out in Tokyo, with a further hotel to come in the Ginza district later this year. For now, visitors to the city can soak up some Ian Schrager style at the new Edition Tokyo Toranomon – which has a bar in the offing that seems as shiny as a Studio 54 glitterball. Gold Bar on the hotel’s ground floor is dressed in blackened wood and dark marble, embellished with accents of gold, and holding enough space for 87 guests. The bar will move from soft drinks by day – overseen by the venue’s own tea master – to concoctions at night set to honour the golden age of cocktails. Expect these to feature local craft spirits, whiskies and shochus.
Now open, www.editionhotels.com/tokyo-toranomon
Soda & Friends
The highball continues to dominate drink menus around the world, and fully embracing the trend is Soda & Friends, a new addition to the London scene. The bar will champion an array of spirits served tall, lengthened with seltzers and sodas and amplified with house cordials and liqueurs. It comes from the minds behind Easy Social Cocktail Co, a canned cocktail concept launched by a trio of bartenders in lockdown. It’s nice to see them back serving drinks in the flesh, and in a minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired room that puts full focus on the action behind the bar.
Now open, www.sodaandfriends.com
Taking a truly spirited approach to cocktails is Boston’s latest haunt, Hecate. It’s brought to Beantown by the same minds behind the city’s Greek wine bar Krasi – but while that venue is all light, Mediterranean sunshine, Hecate (which sits directly beneath, in the basement) is the heart of darkness. Of course, named after the Greek goddess of necromancy, you should expect no less. They’re calling their bartenders ‘spirit guides’, which might turn you off – but the ‘rites and rituals’ cocktail list includes impressive house ingredients and cleverly sourced spirits, making the bar’s theme feel far from gimmicky. Head down and cross the threshold if you’re ready for a dance with the devil while you drink.
April 7, www.hecatebar.com
In 2010, the launch of Nightjar in London’s Shoreditch helped cement the city’s speakeasy love-in. Now, over ten years later, the Prohibition-themed hangout has spawned a sibling, this time in the capital’s West End. Expect similar jazz era stylings, an enviable list of vintage spirits and cocktails pegged to three distinct eras: pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and post-War. Live jazz will also be on the agenda and a late licence sees the bar stay open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Now, you’ll just have to work out the password to enter.
April 20, www.nightjarcarnaby.com
The El Poblenou setting of the latest outpost from the Hoxton Hotel group means that its rooftop will offer coveted views across to Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia. But Tope will have its own thing going on too, serving pulled pork tacos and frozen Margaritas to its poolside guests, who can make themselves very comfortable on a plush range of daybeds. If it’s not a flavour of Mexico you’re after, Spanish drink makers are set to be celebrated on the bar’s wine and craft beer menus.
April 25, www.thehoxton.com/poblenou
Okay, you probably won’t come to Forest Lagoon for the drinks alone. But we challenge you to find a more unique swim-up-bar setting in the world. In fact, this new luxury resort and spa has two swim-up bars to boast, offering drinks from within its geothermal infinity pools overlooking Vaðlaskógur forest in the north of Iceland. Its architects also designed the country’s famous Blue Lagoon retreat, so expect a similarly naturalistic aesthetic, that blends in seamlessly with stunning surrounds. Admission for two for the day includes two drinks 13.900 ISK (around £80) – so it would be rude not to sample local Icelandic beverages while unwinding in this otherworldly setting.
April TBC, www.forestlagoon.is