If you want to feel like a VIP when stepping out for a drink this September, a host of exclusive new bars around the world are at your service. Cocktail lounges have landed in the US on streets as glitzy as the Sunset Strip and Billionaire’s Row, and are already ushering in a famous clientele.
Elsewhere, bars are making local stars out of specialist drinks, instead – check out Hong Kong’s first dedicated vermouth bar, Bianco & Rosso, or Melbourne’s 14-seater sake bar, Gracie. Or should you feel like drinking closer to the source of the spirit in question, Mexico City has a new venue in which to immerse yourself in the country’s rich array of agave spirits.
For all this, and more, read on for our selection of the best new bars around the world to visit in September 2022.
Hot new bars to visit in September 2022
Bianco & Rosso
Welcome to the House of Vermouth. This addition to Gough Street models itself on the bars of mainland Europe and claims to be inspired by the Renaissance era: expect arched walls and prints of Italian landmarks in among the red-and-white colour scheme. It sounds terribly kitsch, but as Hong Kong’s first dedicated vermouth bar, it is taking its drink offering very seriously. Fortified wines will be showcased individually, as well as in a Spritz-driven cocktail list primed for aperitivo hour.
London continues to feel the influence of the French bistro, with another bar à vin added to the scene this summer. Cadet opened its doors in northeast neighbourhood Newington Green, a collaboration between wine importers Beattie & Roberts and charcuterie expert George Jephson (whose pâté en croute had already been turning heads). Find natural wine by the glass paired with a selection of meats, with a heftier, daily-changing menu in the evenings from an ex-P. Franco chef.
Los Angeles, US
Within weeks of the West Hollywood bar’s launch, Fleur Room has already hosted pop music’s brightest things for the MTV VMAs after-party, as well as star-studded bashes for the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. They’ve presumably been lured in by the bar’s promise of a ‘clandestine escape’ – but there’s plenty more appeal to the Fleur Room, from its ‘whimsical’, cotton-candy-topped cocktails to its mirrored ceiling and intricate, pink light fittings. Sound Instagrammable? In a refreshing move, no photos or videos are allowed inside this dark-lit nightspot.
You can get an intimate introduction to Japanese drinks at Melbourne’s 14-seat sake bar, Gracie. The Hardware Lane hangout hopes to demystify the rice wine, with a range of styles to sample – listed from light and fruity to dry and savoury – all served in wine glasses rather than the more traditional choko cups, to help encourage some swirling and sniffing. A cocktail list is also driven by Japanese flavours, with options including a Yuzu Spritz, and there’s a menu of dumplings and sandos on offer. Elsewhere, expect natural wines and craft beers to hail from Australia – all available to purchase and take home, too.
New York, US
A spin-off to London’s flagship members’ club, The Ned arrives in New York’s Midtown, picking up where the Nomad Hotel left off – and open to non-members is Little Ned. It occupies the same space as the revered Nomad Bar, which was consistently among the top five bars in the world at the height of its fame. Filling these big shoes should be no problem for hotel group’s newly acquired head of bars Chris Moore, whose cocktail bar credits include NYC’s Dante and London’s Coupette (which he founded – and where he put the Champagne Piña Colada on the menu and on the map). Bar snacks will be far from low-key, too – think caviar and steak tartare.
Neue Hoheit Bar
Up on the seventh floor of Vienna’s new Rosewood hotel, Neue Hoheit is combining a light, bright rooftop brasserie with a bar indoors channelling the spirit of a speakeasy – both going under the same name. The two might not seem conducive, but a consistent standard of food and drink is expected across both – with the bar focusing on signature cocktails and vintage spirits – as well as beautiful views of St Stephen’s Cathedral and other icons on the historical city’s horizon. The nine cocktails on the menu each represent one of Austria’s individual federal states, with spirits sourced from star distilleries in each region – so a trip here might be an ideal way for drink lovers to get immersed in the country’s culture.
Salon de Agave
Mexico City, Mexico
While Oaxaca has a handful of studious spaces in which to pull up a pew and learn all about mezcal, Mexico City’s scene is perhaps more party driven. Enter Salon de Agave, a new venture in Roma venue Casa de Prunes, which is being fronted by Tequila ambassador Megs Miller. Fans of agave spirits – or total novices, for that matter – can journey on an intimate experience (in groups of 12), with everything from the drink’s history to unique production processes discussed alongside a tutored tasting (in English or Spanish). Taste your way through types of Tequila, Oaxaca’s best distillates, or even agave-spirit discoveries outside the traditional ruta del mezcal.
Aman Jazz Club
New York, US
Developers of the much-hyped Aman hotel, which has finally opened just off New York’s so-called Billionaire’s Row, have been aiming to create an ‘inner-city sanctuary’ with a mix of plush suites and a modern yet tranquil spa spread across three floors. But that doesn’t mean it’s overlooked a bit of old-school Manhattan glamour. In the basement, you’ll find Aman Jazz Club, and just like the Fleur Room in LA, it’s a discreet space discouraging phones and photography. Instead, the focus is on Martinis and live music, with a Steinway piano taking centre stage and with Lady Gaga’s trumpet player, Brian Newman, curating the tunes.