Two Schmucks reopens, Fat Schmuck launches doors away

21 June, 2021

Juliette Larrouy, Moe Aljaff and Pom Modeste

The critically acclaimed “five-star dive-bar” Two Schmucks has re-opened the doors to its original site in El Raval in Barcelona, just days after the launch of the bar-brand’s casual dining sequel: Fat Schmuck.

Two Schmucks – no.26 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020 – endured a troubled pandemic, with capacity restrictions forcing closure and relocation.

“We went through a lot,” Aljaff told Drinks International. “Last year we decided we couldn’t keep Two Schmucks open. The restrictions meant no one was allowed to sit at the bar and our capacity was limited to 30% of our 30-people licence, so 7-8 people!”

The restrictions forced a re-think last year, with Aljaff taking over a new site. “In August we got the site with a terrace and ran Two Schmucks On the Terrace as a pop up,” Aljaff said. “It was only supposed to run for a month but ended up running for six months. Even though we could only open from 1pm to 3.30pm, our boozy lunches were a hit and we made enough to to pay the rent and bills [for both sites].”

The site of the pop up on Plaça d'Emili Vendrell has now transitioned to Aljaff’s new restaurant-bar Fat Schmuck, with Two Schmucks reopening today at its original site following the ending of capacity restrictions.

Aljaff told Drinks International the two venues may share a street and the Schmuck name, but have a clear point of difference: Two Schmuck is the indoor bar which majors on cocktails, while Fat Schmuck the all-day restaurant bar and terrace, with casual dining and tap cocktails.

Since Two Schmuck’s co-founder AJ White left the operation last year, the group’s Juliette Larrouy and Pom Modeste have been promoted, now running the beverage programme across both sites.

Above: Two Schmucks

They are the faces (and creative directors) of the re-styled Two Schmucks, having been given licence to evolve the bar brand - in terms of music, décor and atmosphere - in their image.

The pair have hired a new team for today’s relaunch and open with a ‘Best of’ menu of Two Schmucks signatures, ahead of a new culinary cocktail menu which will be unveiled later this summer, drawing on the team’s gastronomic backgrounds.

“Two Schmucks is reflective of the people that run it,” said Aljaff. “As we have passed the torch to Juliette and Pom - they are redesigning the bar. Juliet is a former sous chef and Pom was a pastry chef - they and their new team have rich culinary backgrounds so it makes sense to reflect that in the offering at Two Schmucks. We are sharing our love for desserts and pastry and looking to bring those flavours into the liquid."

With 12-16 cocktails on tap, the drinks offering at Fat Schmuck is designed to be approachable and suitable for day-time service. “Fat Schmuck is more coffee, food and aperitivo. A lot of people just want a Spritz or G&T, so we do these with small twists, such as a Tarragon Aperol Spritz. Our House G&T is with pine, garnished with cucumber. So tall, fizzy, easy-going and colourful cocktails.”

Meanwhile the food at Fat Schmuck is rich, "American style" food accented with "Asian spices". The restaurant-bar can cater for 110 covers, 70 of which are on its terrace.

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