The month of Halloween is upon us and the range of new bars opening in October ensures there are treats and the odd neat trick for the discerning drinker. In London, Lina Stores has opened a ‘hidden’ aperitivo bar in the basement of its original Soho deli. Up in Edinburgh, Michelin-starred Timberyard launches a new wine bar, while in Shanghai, Harrods opens the doors to its first ever members’ club with the help of Gordon Ramsay and Edrington whiskies.
Read on to discover the most exciting new bars to visit this month.
The best new bars to visit in October 2023
Holly Graham, an author, journalist and influential figure in the world of cocktails and spirits, is now the owner of her first bar, set to open on 11 October. The concept for Tokyo Confidential takes inspiration from the feel of house parties, so expect the atmosphere to be relaxed and buzzy, rather than demure and reverential. The bar’s Japanese interior is punctuated by a selection of art created by artists from Argentina and the US, plus quirky trinkets, some of which belong to Graham herself. Signature cocktails have been designed to showcase Japanese ingredients in creative ways; the ‘Destroy All Monsters’ (pictured), for example, is a mix of miso brown butter-washed gin, Manzanilla sherry, white vermouth and Ponzu. As well as cocktails, there are extensive lists of agave-based spirits and Champagne, and bar snacks conceived by a Michelin-starred chef. If that wasn’t enough, the bar features a balcony and rooftop space that afford drinkers spectacular views of Tokyo Tower.
Opens 11 October, tokyoconfidential.com
Beneath the heaving shelves of the original Lina Stores deli in Soho, down a green staircase, lies a candlelit red marble bar that has all the drama you need from a slinky aperitivo bar. Tomato Martinis are served alongside Basil Gimlets on an ingredient-led cocktail menu, while low-intervention Italian producers populate the wine list. Between drinks, there are fried gnudi and truffle crostini, as well as the charcuterie, cheese and other antipasti we’ve come to expect from this growing empire.
Opens soon, barlina.co.uk
Harrods’ first private members’ club lands at Cha House with dining by Gordon Ramsay. The hotelier already hosts a tea room and piano bar at the same address but now 250 members can get a more exclusive experience, as well as making the most of in-house expertise in rare and fine wines. The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park will provide a curated portfolio of whiskies to make sure the transition to winter goes smoothly.
Opens soon, harrods.com/the-residence
The new Maison Gainsbourg attraction in Paris gives visitors the chance to explore Gainsbourg’s old house and visit a museum a few doors down the street dedicated to ‘his world’. Located on the eastern edge of the seventh arrondissement, around ten minutes by foot from the Musée d’Orsay, the attraction also includes a piano bar and café called Le Gainsbarre, which uses Gainsbourg’s early career as a pianist in the bars and cabarets of the French capital as its inspiration. Cocktails (sold by number, not name) feature a flurry of interesting touches: cherry ice cubes, aniseed lollipops, clarified pineapple juice, notes of eucalyptus. Meanwhile, the bar menu (oysters, lobster rolls, caviar and gravlax) nods to the musician’s favourites from the Paris Ritz and Raphael. You aren’t required to visit the house or the museum in order to drop into the bar, and it’s stylish enough in its own right if you’re in the mood for a drink.
Open now, maisongainsbourg.fr
Expect the unexpected at Bar Kinky on Charlotte Street. After a delicious dinner at Kink(all)y where Georgian dumplings, khinkali, are stuffed with luxe fillings (think wagyu beef and pheasant), head downstairs for cocktails and Georgian wine. For anyone looking to get to know their Tsinandali from their Tvishi, there can be no better opportunity for it in London than here.
Opens soon, kinkally.co.uk
View this post on Instagram
From the brains behind Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred Timberyard restaurant comes a neighbourhood wine bar for Abbeyhill. Downstairs, guests can make the most of the restaurant’s cellars with British bar snacks on the side. Diners upstairs can experience Timberyard-inspired menus at a super-cosy six-seater dining room. Timberyard’s enormous wine list, full of European winemakers from Wales to Greece, is worth mulling over all night.
Open soon, timberyard.co
A new venture that forms part of Ginza, the Japanese restaurant in the St James’s area of Mayfair, Hiroo is a cocktail and sake bar with a drinks list overseen by mixologist Tony Vega. As well as cocktails, more than 70 premium sakes are available alongside some of the best Japanese whiskies, and a dedicated sake sommelier is on hand to guide guests through tasting flights. Bar snacks include Japanese potato Teriyaki, smoked Shishito peppers and okra tempura, plus a mix of Robatayaki seafood and meat and sushi rolls.
Open now, ginza-stjames.com/bar