A view from the city: St Petersburg

01 December, 2017

Another big challenge was the choice of raw ingredients and fresh products. St Petersburg is the most northern city in the world with a population above 1m –and you can’t get good avocado here 365 days a year.

So we ended up having a new cocktail menu every other week, for more interesting flavours, logistics and cost. And it worked. This weekend we had our 141st Menu of the Week. That gives the intrigue to the guests and a cool challenge to us.

Being afraid every minute of being closed by the police we had to learn about all our guests by heart – their habits, names, friends and preferences.

But we survived and managed to persuade the importers to bring mezcal to Russia. We got around 10 brands within two-and-a-half years. That is massive for us.

How developed is the St Petersburg scene – has it reached its potential?

It’s getting more hyped – sometimes it’s too uncontrolled. There are a lot of wannabe best bars with no concept or knowledge of what they are actually doing. But starting a bar business is much more affordable here, so a lot of bartenders who were dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur can try their luck in St Petersburg.

That can lead to interesting venues by good professionals for good consumers.

Bartenders are travelling much more, getting inspired and inspiring others, so we try to help the guys as much as we can. Recently we launched a bar school called Bartenders Faqtory, offering the chance to share the knowledge and experience of the world’s bartending community.


Philip Duff

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