It was a Tuesday in October 2022 when, around 8 pm local time, the night stars began to arrive at the imposing Dome of Las Arenas, in Barcelona. Coming from all over the world, dressed in formal attire, they walked the red carpet under the flashes of photographers, cameramen’s lenses and the attentive gaze of onlookers. But, contrary to what the pompous occasion made it seem, it was not about any film or music awards. With more than a thousand guests, the ceremony that shook the Spanish city was actually the official announcement of the ranking of the The World’s 50 Best Bars .
Published for the first time in 2009, the list is currently the most awaited publication that aims to choose the best bars in the world, overshadowing even very traditional awards in the sector, such as the Tales of The Cocktail which takes place every year in the American city of New Orleans.
“Of them all, 50 Best is the one that invests the most in diversity”, he argues Thiago Bañares chef and partner at tan tan a bar with an Asian feel in Pinheiros, and The Liquor Store , the intimate bar focused only on high-end cocktails in Jardins. “It puts places on the map where you have good experience as a whole, and not just an assessment of the technical aspect.”
Your address was the only Brazilian address to appear on last year’s list, in 62nd position. This is because, although it officially includes the fifty best addresses around the world – as the name suggests – there is a complementary list that lists the best classified from 51st to 100th place.
“It all comes down to personal opinions and the experiences that the jurors have had,” he explains. Mark Sansom , who has been content director at The Wold 50 Best Bars for five years. “All bars in the world are eligible, as long as they are open at the time of the list announcement or are not about to close.”
Sansom also says that the ranking is based on the evaluation of approximately 650 professionals, including bartenders, consultants, journalists and other names in the sector around the world. Each of them must name seven bars, in order of preference, based on their best experiences over the last 18 months. And since 2017, their names have been confidential to avoid any type of advantage or harassment. “At least 25% of voters are changed each year, providing new perspectives”, he adds.
It’s the same dynamic as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which was created in 2002 as the first global review by Willian Reed, a media group based in the United Kingdom. In 2013, the first two regional lists came out, from Asia and Latin America, and, in 2017, the company acquired The Wold’s 50 Best Bars, which had been published since 2009, as well as Asia’s 50 Best Bars, which had been in existence since 2016. In 2019, 50 Best Discovery was launched and, in 2020, 50 Best for Recovery was created, raising 1.29 million dollars to support the hospitality industry. For 2023, the launch of 50 Best Hotels, aimed at the hotel sector, is also scheduled.
But, as with all rankings and awards, The 50 Best lists are not unanimous. In 2015, a group of chefs and businesspeople from the sector, from different parts of the world, protested against the legitimacy of the award aimed at restaurants.
They even created the Occupy 50 Best movement, calling for more transparency in voting. Among the signatories of this manifesto were figures of the caliber of Jöel Rebuchon French chef who died in 2018 and one of the biggest star holders in the renowned Michelin guide, and Rogério Fasano Brazilian restaurateur behind the group’s success Fasano .
In the bar scene, however, it is more difficult to find voices opposing the publication. And, despite all the prestige here, Brazil still figures little in it. Our houses only started to appear in 2017, with FrankBar , Guillotine It is SubAstor ranking between 66th and 90th. The following year the three repeated the feat and, in 2019, Guilhotina was the only Brazilian to date to enter the top 50, being elected the 15th best in the world.
Since then, only Tan Tan has represented the country. “We are not behind anywhere else in the world in terms of technique and product”, he guarantees Márcio Silva , bartender responsible for putting Guilhotina on the map and who, now away from home, is traveling the world to give workshops, masterclasses and participate with guests. “The problem is that there is still a lack of unity among professionals in the field to bring more bartenders, journalists and other important people in the sector to the country.”
Today, Silva appears on another list: one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the bar industry, published by the English magazine “Drinks International”. He learned the bartending trade in Europe, where he left in the 90s. He worked with big names in the world of cocktails and, in 2009, returned to dedicate himself to opening SubAstor, in Vila Madalena. Along the way, he opened Guilhotina and currently presents himself as a “new business partner” of the group responsible for Locale Caffè, in Itaim Bibi, with whom he has been developing projects.
He remembers that, even before opening Guilhotina, in January 2017, he started a campaign to make the address known around the world. “I created a hashtag and mobilized people from all over on social media to publicize it.” The fruits, he says, came quickly. “We opened already known, and within four months the bar received nominations in international awards.” Added to this are dozens of trips, in which Silva says he took Guilhotina’s name to the world.
“A lot of people talk about lobbying, but you need to have consistent work.”
Bañares, who like Silva also appears in the list of the English magazine “Drinks International”, endorses it. “We have to campaign to show our work to as many people as possible,” he says, who has experience in houses such as SUN . It is Arturito and today he heads a group of which the restaurant is still a part Kotori .
The Tan Tan expert guarantees, however, that it never crossed his mind to be part of a list like the 50 Best Bars. “When I opened the restaurant in 2015, the idea was to be a ramen restaurant.” It was only in 2018 that he took on his current vocation, investing heavily in cocktails together with the bartender Alex Mesquita . “Today we understand that there is a political side to the list. You need to visit other places, meet people and be known by them.”
Fabio la Pietra , an Italian who arrived here in 2013 to run the Subastor bar, comments that the drinks industry plays an important role in this “cultural exchange”. After all, according to the most recent survey by International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR), the global alcoholic beverages market today has an estimated value of US$1.17 trillion, approximately R$5.8 trillion.
“Brands need ideas, and we need budget. Thus, they invest in educational issues, sponsoring seminars and guests”, says Bañares, who adds: “The beverage industry has a lot of resources, it helps you to move the scene forward, bring in professionals from outside.”
For them, Being part of a list like The 50 Best Bars isn’t just good for your ego. This is something that impacts the business as a whole.
“SubAstor started receiving more invitations to take our work abroad, we ended up exchanging learning with the whole world. And the whole team gains motivation”, says La Pietra.
For Bañares, the impact on the movement was evident. “We started to have, on days like Tuesday and Wednesday, the same movement that we had on the weekend.”
Marcello Nazareth , who remains at the helm of Guilhotina, says that the good positions in past rankings reverberate to this day. “Many people who come from abroad try to get to know us. It’s a seal of approval.”
Even though all the networking work to appear internationally was hampered by the pandemic, Naza, as he is known, is optimistic. They’ve been there Spencer Amereno Jr. , who states that “50 Best is the dream of those in the area”, he was the one who led Frank to the publication between 2017 and 2019 and closed its doors two years ago. Recently, the person who took over the Guilhotina bar is Alê D’Agostino.
This year the announcement of the laureates is scheduled for the day October 17, Singapore . “In 2022, we hit the road, leaving London for the first time. And, after the success of the awards in Barcelona, we knew we had to ‘spread the love’ to other parts of the world”, declares Sansom. “Who knows, maybe Brazil will host the event in the coming years?”
Source: CNN Brasil
Johanna Foster is an expert opinion writer with over 7 years of experience. She has a reputation for delivering insightful and thought-provoking articles on a variety of subjects. Her work can be found on some of the top online news websites, and she is currently lending her voice to the world stock market.