Chris Moore at Coupette

Moore chooses happiness over Coupette

25 November, 2019

Chris Moore has left Coupette, one of London’s most celebrated bars, because it made him unhappy, Drinks International can exclusively reveal.

The Bethnal Green bar, which featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2018 and 2019 and has spawned a number of modern classic cocktails, will continue trading without its founder, who left the business last week.

“Coupette took its toll on me,” Moore told DI. “Last year I was working every hour god sends. Working like that is not a badge of honour and you can’t do it forever – it doesn’t make you happy. I was fixating on winning. But winning professionally meant losing personally. Since I opened Coupette, my wife and I separated, I lost my home. I need to rebuild my foundation. All I care about now is being happy.”

The former Beaufort Bar head bartender founded Coupette in 2017, operating as a director and shareholder. This year, when the business transitioned to new owners, Moore’s equity share was put on hold until he had made clear his future direction. A severance deal for the former co-owner was brokered today.

Moore told DI: “I didn’t want a drawn-out process. It’s a burden when I’d rather have the freedom. Leaving Coupette feels a weight off the shoulders.”

He and his team created a number of neo-classics at Coupette – the Champagne Piña Colada and Apples both won Cocktail of the Year at the Class Bar Awards, and of the most recent menu Strawberries & Cream has also been well received.

It is understood Coupette will continue with the current menu – Summer – and that a mooted second edition of the bar remains on the table.

Having left, Moore intends to take a break but re-emerge in operations in early 2020 – perhaps abroad. “I’m not sure ownership is what I want," said Moore. "People talk about having freedom to do what you want when you own a bar, but it’s the least freedom you’ll ever have. "I’ll be staying in operations, not moving to brands. I’ve never worked abroad and America is a possibility, but if I did move there, I’d want a solid base – somewhere I can grow.”

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