By November, the clocks have gone back and the northern hemisphere has been plunged headlong into the days of dark nights and end-of-year parties. For the expert owners behind London bars Levan and Dram, it’s the perfect time to tempt locals into a new joint with the promise of a warming glass of red wine or a whisky-led beverage. To usher in party season, there’s a new bar in Helsinki with a list curated by none other than Club O contributor and sparkling wine expert Essi Avellan MW: expect Champagne aplenty. Meanwhile, down in Sydney it’s a different story entirely: a brand-new rooftop bar promises slushies and small plates as the nights grow shorter.
Read on to discover the most exciting new bars to visit this month.
The best new bars to visit in November 2023
Located on Helsinki’s Esplanade Boulevard, Minne wine bar has the magic touch of Champagne expert and Club Oenologique critic Essi Avellan MW to thank for its contemporary selection of sparklers. Celebrated Champagne houses and smaller sparkling producers are championed on a wine list that also showcases regions such as Burgundy and Piedmont. A chic, Champagne-toned décor should help focus your mind on the job in hand.
Opens 11 Nov, minnehelsinki.fi
Spreading itself across three floors on London’s iconic Tin Pan Alley is destination drinking spot Dram, brought to you by a seasoned team (left to right: Jack Wallis, Martyn Simpson, Chris Tanner) who earned their chops at London’s much-loved specialist whisky store, Milroy’s. Of course, they’re bringing the world whisky – via the ground floor bar and the venue’s own shop – but there will also be cocktails on tap, a Spritz-serving terrace and a pool-table room for private hire. A cocktail research lab in the basement, which will become another immersive drinking space by night, ensures the innovation never stops.
Open now, drambar.co.uk
Ask For Janice
New York, US
Slip through Upside Pizza on Manhattan Avenue and find yourself in a music-inspired cocktail bar from the same team behind Brooklyn listening bar Eavesdrop. Sip a house Martini made with NYC vermouth and a mezcal-rich Landline (complete with housemade Chamoy), or browse the seven-item wine list for Cremant, Rheinhassen rosé and natural wine from Piedmont by the bottle or glass. You can even order in pizza from Upside if you find yourself cosy and comfortable (be sure to leave room for their retro rainbow-sprinkled cannoli).
Open now, askforjanice.nyc
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The rooftop of the Kimpton Hotel is home to a brand-new rooftop bar for sundowners this Australian summer. Seven floors above the city, Harper has a delicious cocktail menu, spritzes aplenty, grown-up slushies to beat the heat and a wine list focused on New World names. Turn to a Mediterranean menu of small plates and seafood to turn a brief rendezvous into a long spell of people-watching.
Open now, harperrooftopbar.com.au
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Paris-inspired restaurant Levan is opening a 34-cover biodynamic wine bar in Peckham, with heaps of gems by the glass. Levan’s wine list cheers for the Old World, especially the Jura, and there’s a little education with every choice: they’re keen to offer tips and advice to help you pick out exactly what you’re after. Bar Levan’s drinks menu may lead the charge but there’s a short bar menu with cheese, charcuterie, and a house croque monsieur in case you’re staying for more than one or two. Ideal territory for a little mid-week wine discovery.
Opens 23 Nov, levanlondon.co.uk
While the concept isn’t totally new, this is the first standalone Permit Room bar from the popular UK-based Mumbai-inspired restaurant group Dishoom. The founders describe it as ‘a bit more rock ‘n’ roll than Dishoom’: witness this philosophy in its bohemian Brighton location and through its weighty list of cocktails that play with the classics and also channel a fair few Indian spirits and spices (definitely seek out the Mango Lassi Punch). Non-alcoholic aperitifs are just as creative and considered – and vegans and veggies are well-catered for across a whopping list of new Dishoom dishes, plus the classic naan roll for the morning after.
Open now, permitroom.co.uk
Part of the Broadwick Soho, Flute has grabbed the top spot and the hotel’s view of the skyline. The decor is as big as the view: an onyx bar, animal-print upholstery and mirrored ceilings. Sip retro cocktails – Midori Sours and Chestnut Old Fashioneds for the launch – developed by Greg Alemida, formerly of cocktail bar Tayēr+Elementary, while you gaze across the rooftops. There’s a dinner menu if you want to make a night of it.
Opens 15 Nov, broadwicksoho.com