The World’s 50 Best Bars have been named at an awards ceremony in London and while four Australian bars made the top 100, just one made it into the top 50.

Sydney’s Maybe Sammy was ranked number 43, giving it the title of Best Bar in Australasia, not bad for a place that only opened its doors nine months. Co-owned by Stefano Catino, Vince Lombardo and Andrea Gualdi, this is the latest recognition for the bar which was named Best International New Cocktail Bar at the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. Maybe Sammy is also nominated in a number of categories for the 2019 Australian Liquor Industry Awards, including Best New Bar, Best Cocktail List and Bar of the Year.

Speaking about the win, Lombardo told TheShout: “I delighted for the team, this win is great for them and for all the hard work that they have put in since we opened nine months ago.”

In terms of the key to the success said as well as having clarity on the vision along with the effort they put into the look and feel of Maybe Sammy, getting the right team involved was what really mattered.

“One of the big things when we decided to open Maybe Sammy was that we recruited really well, we put a really strong team together and we’ve let them be as creative as the want to be.

“We knew exactly what we wanted to do with Maybe Sammy, being honest I didn’t expect it to be this successful this quickly – it’s a good surprise – but it’s really down to the team. We’ve got an amazing team working down there and it’s like a soccer team. If you put Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the same team there’s a big chance you are going win.

“The great thing about this bar team is they constantly want to keep changing things, they are looking at new things. We really give them creative freedom.”

He added: “We wanted to create something special, it’s a hotel bar without the hotel. But being one of these top bars it’s about more than the fitout. It’s about the way you feel when you walk into the bar, it’s the way you are greeted, the service you get. It’s the quality of the drinks and cocktails, it’s everything and to win these competitions everything has to be on point all the time.

“You walk into Dante and you just say ‘I love it, it’s cool’ and that’s what it’s about. I think it’s impossible that anyone would walk in there and not like it.

“And that’s what we want with Maybe Sammy, we want people to walk in and say ‘wow’ but that can’t last, so we then want to take that wow to another level. Stef and I look at that in two ways, one is to let our guys show their personality and the second is staff training.

“We make sure everyone understands it’s always about the customer and never about our egos, if customers don’t like something or it’s not selling then we just take it off the menu even if we think it’s great. It’s not about us, it’s about the customer.”

The top five bars in the world, according to the list are:

  1. Dante, New York
  2. Connaught Bar, London
  3. Floreria Atlanticio, Buenos Aires
  4. The Nomad, New York
  5. American Bar, London.

Lombardo added: “I also want to say congratulations to the number one bar in the world, in Dante. Me, Andrea and Stef went over a couple of months ago and we did a Maybe Sammy pop-up at Dante. Those guys are great, they are really professional and they really deserve that win, they are pretty amazing.”

As well as the top 50 bar, the list also detailed bars 51 to 100, which saw four Australian bars named, congratulations to Bulletin Place (Sydney) at #66, The Baxter Inn (Sydney) at #79, Black Pearl (Melbourne) at #80 and new entry PS40 (Sydney) at #95.

The World’s 50 Best Bars is an annual list that celebrates the best of the international drinks industry. It provides an annual ranking of bars as voted by more than 500 drinks experts from across the world, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists. The list, which has been published annually since 2009, represents the ultimate international guide to the world’s top bars and drinking destinations and has become the most anticipated ranking for drinks professionals and cocktail aficionados across the world.

The Full World’s 50 Best Bars list:

  1. Dante, New York
  2. Connaught Bar, London
  3. Floreria Atlanticio, Buenos Aires
  4. The Nomad, New York
  5. American Bar, London
  6. The Clumsies, Athens
  7. Attaboy, New York
  8. Atlas, Singapore
  9. The Old Man, Hong Kong
  10. Licoreria Limantour, Mexico City
  11. Manhattan, Singapore
  12. Native, Singapore
  13. Carnaval, Lima
  14. Katana Kitten, New York
  15. Guilhotina, Sao Paulo
  16. Three Sheets, London
  17. Himkok, Oslo
  18. High Five, Tokyo
  19. Salmon Guru, Madrid
  20. Paradiso, Barcelona
  21. Induldge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
  22. The Dead Rabbit, New York
  23. Coupette, London
  24. The SG Club, Tokyo
  25. Dr. Stravinsky, Barcelona
  26. Employees Only, New York
  27. El Copitas, St Petersburg
  28. Scout, London
  29. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  30. Operation Dagger, Singapore
  31. Baba Au Rum, Athens
  32. La Factoria, San Juan
  33. Presidente, Buenos Aires
  34. Schumann’s Munic
  35. Speak Low, Shanghai
  36. Little Red Door, Paris
  37. Tjoget, Stockholm
  38. The Old Man, Singapore
  39. Lyaness, London
  40. Happiness Forgets, London
  41. Swift, London
  42. Trick Dog, San Francisco
  43. Maybe Sammy, Sydney
  44. 1930, Milan
  45. Sober Company, Shanghai
  46. Electric Bing Sutt, Beirut
  47. Kwant, London
  48. Artesian, London
  49. Coa, Hong Kong
  50. Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, Rome

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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