Remy savage

Savage unveils Paris and London bar plans

31 October, 2019

Remy Savage is to become a partner at the bar group Le Syndicat in Paris and launch two new bars - one on either side of the Channel, Drinks International can exclusively reveal.

The ex-Artesian and Little Red Door head bartender will join the group’s eponemous bar Le Syndicat and La Commune this December as co-director.

Le Syndicat, founded by Romain Le Mouellic (and Sullivan Doh, who left the business earlier this year), champions French spirits and produce – something that appeals to Savage, following stints at internationally-oriented cocktail bars.

“Romain, the creator and owner of Le Syndicat approached me," the ex-Artesian head bartender told DI. "The bar has an amazing, underground concept but it’s very inclusive and fun. I want to work further on the French element – the spirits and the way people drink in France. I won’t be permanently behind the bar at Le Syndicat or La Commune – just for a few months to understand the business. My remit will be the group’s creative direction.”

Savage will then turn his attention to a new launch next year under the group’s banner; a bar which continues the exploration of French drinking culture.

Paris PMU

Savage told DI: "We are going to open a PMU [a traditional French café/ bar/ tobacconist/ betting shop). It’s a gathering place from 9am-8pm for local people. We want to make sure the local customers remain the same, but at night it’ll be a fun bar with cocktails. The décor will be freshened up, so it’s clean, but not too clean. There will only be small adjustments.”

The new concept, Savage explained, is an attempt to reconnect with the role of the neighbourhood bar and French culture. “We have fallen on a format of bars that is very repetitive. I don’t want to drink like I do in NYC in Paris. We have uniformed the way we serve and drink. In my new role, I’m hoping to push forward the French concept. We will serve drinks that are French – without anyone knowing we take cocktails seriously. I’m very excited about it – the bar itself rather than the drinks we will serve."

The PMU, Savage said, will be featured in a documentary he’s shooting about drinking culture around France, from regional aperitifs to simple mixed drinks.

Though Savage will spend more time in Paris, he will not leave London, instead splitting his time between the two capitals.

A local in London

In between taking over the creative reins of Le Syndciat and opening the group’s third Paris venue (which is likely to be next summer), Savage intends to launch a separate bar project in London with a former colleague.   

“I don’t want to open just another London cocktail bar," he told DI. "We’re visiting 10 sites a week - finding the right location is super important. We are looking at different styles of venues. The only type we’re not looking for is a box on a street. The journey to a bar is part of the bar experience. That process is so important.”

Savage says his London venue will have a local orientation, which will go further than the sourcing. “People are going local but it’s only ingredients - it’s the first step – but it doesn’t take in culture or concept.”

The new bar, said Savage, will reflect the "post-technological world we live in" and is inspired by the Art Nouveau movement which "reintroduced nature into a post-industrial world".

“I see parallels with the post-technological world we live in today," he told DI. "So just as the artists of Art Nouveau I want to introduce every day nature into the space. It’s the connection with nature that interests me. This is abstract but it’s very clear in my mind.”

Alongside his bar projects, Savage has also disclosed he is working on a book and about to launch his own range of glassware. 

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.