When it comes to making evening plans as we enter the cosy season, thoughts can turn to subterranean dens and fortifying drinks. Well, there’s plenty of that sort of thing on offer at the latest and most exciting new bars to launch around the world – particularly in the UK, in the form of a spanking-new Manchester spot in a former bank vault, and a cocktail lounge in what was once a London magistrate’s court.
Further afield, new bars in the US are springing up as sisters to restaurants where it’s nigh-on-impossible to get a table – offering a preview to the sibling’s food menu in the form of bar snacks, plus a creative, culinary take across original drink lists. See it in action at Bar Sousòl and Shinji’s. Or head straight for the clouds at New York’s Nubeluz, where acclaimed chef José Andres is running the show.
Read on to discover our selection of the best new bars around the world to visit in October 2022.
Hot new bars to visit in October 2022
Last month, we reported on an exciting new restaurant in Portland exploring Haitian cuisine. This month, we’re thrilled to see a bar has launched directly beneath it. The sibling to Kann – a venture helmed by Top Chef’s Gregory Gourdet – is called Bar Sousòl (the Haitian-Creole word for ‘basement’) and it’s casting its net across the Caribbean to find influence. Visually striking cocktails feature pan-Caribbean citrus and spices, and many have been designed to be zero-proof, Gourdet himself a part of the sober community. Bar snacks include Trinidadian doubles and salt cod fritters.
The latest bar for London’s Nomad Hotel unfurls itself across what feels like a maze of rooms. The subterranean cocktail lounge is set in a former magistrate’s court and has plenty of secluded corners for a late-night date over drinks and snacks (although it’s not dainty, don’t miss the bar’s cheeseburger), or you can perch at the brass-backed bar to witness chatty staff in action. They’re whipping up a range of cocktails that have been designed in pairs – each couplet offering a contrasting interpretation of one core, seasonal ingredient. They look the part, too – one of them with a bird figurine balanced on the top, another simply glowing luminously in the dark.
Referencing the Italian count who gave his name to the classic cocktail, Conte in Surry Hills is dedicated to the Negroni – and it serves up the drink every which way, using a strong line-up of Italian vermouths as the menu’s backbone. For an aperitivo, select from one of 20 riffs on the bitter cocktail paired with antipasti snacks. Digestivi are covered, too, with owner Raffaele Lombard drawing on his own personal amaro stash to help stock the bar.
Hong Kong just recently welcomed its first dedicated vermouth bar to the drinking scene. Now it’s getting a sherry-filled night spot. The founder of Lola is a self-confessed hispanophile, and you can see the obsession in a series of cocktails featuring the fortified wine and other flavours championed across Spain and South America. The elaborately decorated drinks also happen to look like Dalí-esque adventures in surrealism.
New York, US
‘Elevated cocktails, stunning views’: that’s the failsafe manifesto at Manhattan’s hottest new rooftop bar, which has opened under the steer of renowned chef José Andrés. This striking bar – designed by Martin Brudnizski Design Studio – occupies the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel and comes complete with two outdoor terraces. Signature cocktails draw on the bar’s cloud motif (nube means ‘cloud’ in Spanish) – from a mezcal-tinged Foggy Hill to a Salt Air Margarita. Bar snacks are far from an after-thought: select from an indulgent black truffle grilled cheese, jamón sourced from Cinco Jotas and Nubeluz’s range of ‘sweet cones’, adorably elegant mini ice creams.
Fresh from the success of their first Manchester venue at the World’s 50 Best Bar awards (Schofield’s Bar came in at number 59 after just one year of being open), the Schofield brothers are now collaborating on another watering hole in the north of the UK. Beneath the Stock Exchange Hotel in an old bank vault, Sterling will serve bar snacks developed by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge (the kind of hefty grub you’d expect, from truffled cheese gougeres and pig cheek croquettes) alongside original cocktails and takes on the classics, from a Champagne cocktail to the Martinez.
Sunken Harbor Club
In a strange bar-world plot twist, a tropical-themed bar from New York has opened a second outpost in a country just bordering the Tropics. Bermuda’s Cambridge Beaches resort is now home to a branch of the Sunken Harbor Club, which first made its name in Brooklyn as an immersive watering hole made to look like the deck of a shipwrecked boat. This iteration is instead imagined as a dockside tavern, with drinks very much on theme: cocktails include a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, an Angostura Colada and, of course, a Mai Tai.
New York, US
With just 18 seats, it’s likely this new Flat Iron bar will become just as hyped as its Michelin-Starred sister restaurant. A sibling to Noda, Shinji (named after the ‘Tokyo Fixer’ Shinji Nohara, who, among other feats, helped Anthony Bourdain on a deep dive into Japanese cuisine) is serving up pure nostalgia with imaginative cocktails like the Dirtiest Martini, the Foie Gras Sidecar and the Tropicana – a Screwdriver-style drink served inside a frozen orange.