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Whether London can be unequivocally declared the cocktail capital of the world has been a topic of debate for quite some time. However, from our perspective, it stands out prominently. The sheer diversity within the city’s bar scene is unparalleled. Ranging from sophisticated bars nestled in exorbitantly luxurious hotels to hidden gems in lesser-known neighborhoods, London offers a spectrum of options. If your visit to London isn’t solely for sightseeing, we highly recommend selecting accommodation in the eastern part of the city, where a myriad of exceptional bars awaits. Areas such as Shoreditch, Islington, Dalston, or Hackney would consistently be our top choices in such instances. So, here’s to raising your glass and toasting to the vibrant cocktail culture of London!

Bar Guide London


Crossroads Bar


Bar Guide London

While you’ll find some big names in this bar guide, let’s not overlook the hidden gem that is Crossroads Bar. Tucked away in the northern part of Newington Green, this spot is managed by the cocktail wizard, Bart Miedeksza. Despite not being the most famous joint, Crossroads can hold its own against those so-called ‚award-winning‘ bars – and maybe even outshine a few. They made the move to their current spot in 2023 from a smaller spot in Camden Town during the pandemic. These guys call themselves the ‚friendly neighborhood cocktail bar,‘ and it’s spot on. But don’t be fooled by the chill vibes and the cozy setup with a long bar upstairs. Bart, the mixologist extraordinaire, is all about pushing boundaries. He gets creative and experimental, pulling from local goodies and some seriously offbeat ingredients. Picture this: „Eucalyptus + Tonka“ – a mezcal masterpiece that hits you with a crazy aroma. Then there’s the fizzy „Bergamot + Smoke“ with Scotch and Rooibos Earl Grey tea. These drinks were the stars of our London visit. Cheers to Bart and the crew at Crossroads Bar, setting the bar high in the cocktail game!

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Equal Parts


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While East London has never been short of fantastic bars, the arrival of Equal Parts is a refreshing addition to the local scene. Beyond the usual evening revelry, Equal Parts offers a unique bar experience. The space undergoes a delightful metamorphosis from a cozy day spot, adorned with elegant Japanese woodwork and lush greenery, into a vibrant Mediterranean aperitivo bar. Owner Michael Sager, known for the well-regarded wine restaurant „Sager + Wilde,“ has turned a dream into reality with this concept. From the moment you step in, it’s clear that Equal Parts aspires to be more than just a regular bar; it’s a passion project executed with meticulous attention to detail. Elements like the curated vinyl collection and the vintage mocha machine contribute as much to the unique atmosphere as the drinks featured on the menu. The bar’s name, „Equal Parts,“ is more than a moniker; it’s a guiding principle. Most cocktails, including the iconic Negroni, are crafted with ingredients in perfect balance. The emphasis here is on lighter aperitivo drinks, exemplified by the „Fernet + Chinotto“ listed under ‚Signatures,‘ instantly transporting you to Italy. Take, for instance, the ‚Flor’—a captivating blend of olive and tomato notes with vodka and fino sherry, creating an exceptionally aromatic drink perfect for later in the evening. Equal Parts doesn’t stop at cocktails; their menu boasts an extensive selection of amaro and agave specialties, revealing a genuine affinity for all things Mexico. This connection was vividly evident during the guest shift by the renowned Parisian bar „Candelaria,“ hinting that it might not be the last prominent name to grace Equal Parts. We’d bet on it.

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Bar Lotus


Bar Guide London

Dalston stands out as one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods, transitioning from a social hotspot to a thriving creative hub that magnetizes talent. In the midst of this transformation, Bar Lotus has emerged as a noteworthy addition to the neighborhood’s dynamic bar scene, making its debut just this year. The bar’s allure lies not only in its innovative cocktails but also in its striking design, a fusion of Asian minimalism and style. The bright, open space revolves around two expansive bar stations, inviting guests to settle into comfortable bar stools. The seamless blend of retro and modern aesthetics perfectly aligns with our taste, creating a visually appealing ambiance. Bar owner David Wang and his team embody a philosophy centered on translating abstract aesthetics into tangible forms, evident the moment you place your first drink order. Bar Lotus seamlessly weaves together visual, acoustic, and gustatory influences, creating a harmonious experience. The bar’s own cocktail creations reflect this minimalist approach, consciously avoiding garnishes in favor of premium spirits infused with distinctive Asian notes and special ingredients. Take, for instance, the „Oolong Mizuwari,“ a highball featuring Japanese whiskey elevated by the addition of the lychee-like longan fruit. The „Sango“ captivates with its well-balanced blend of East London Gin, Japanese sake, and green tomato flavors. With the other house cocktails promising similar delights, a return visit to this intriguing spot is definitely on the horizon. As a delightful tidbit, if your travels happen to take you to Shanghai, keep an eye out for another Bar Lotus experience awaiting you there.

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Happiness Forgets


Bar Guide London

Bars in London come and go, but there’s one that has our hearts — Happiness Forgets. It’s become our go-to ritual on every trip to London, and honestly, we’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been there. But who’s counting when each visit leaves us grinning and plotting the next one? Sure, they call it a speakeasy, but it’s not some secret joint tucked away. Just head down a few steps into the basement, and voila! You’re face to face with the bar’s name painted on the wall. Inside, it’s like a cozy wonderland—candles dancing, lights dimmed, brick walls giving you all the feels, and a classic wooden bar with those comfy stools just waiting for you. Time seems to play tricks at Happiness Forgets. You could swear it’s taken a pause. And that’s part of why we keep coming back. It’s got this irresistible charm that’s hard to resist (obviously). Now, onto the important stuff—the drinks. Their own creations are on point, leaning a bit to the sweet side, like many London bars. But they’re not shy about mixing up all the classics too. The bar’s armed with all the good stuff, and our taste buds can vouch for the Mezcal Negroni and the „Greenpoint“ (only legit with yellow Chartreuse). Talking about Happiness Forgets almost feels unnecessary. Go once, and you’ll get it. You’ll leave already planning the next trip back. It’s that kind of place—no need for fancy words, just good vibes and even better drinks.

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Little Mercies


Bar Guide London

Okay, truth be told, we had to do a quick Google search to uncover the charm of Crouch End, nestled in the northern nooks of London. It’s not exactly a tourist hotspot, and that’s precisely what makes it intriguing. Our mission? Little Mercies. This snug local joint, celebrating its fifth year in the neighborhood, made waves on awards lists a while back. Now, it’s a fixture in London’s bar scene and a go-to for many bartenders. As the sun dipped low one afternoon, we found ourselves at Little Mercies, face-to-face with Alan Sherwood, the owner, and Mandy, our friendly bartender (who, funnily enough, hails from Germany – small world!). The clean aesthetics of the place struck us right away. Dark blue tones, weathered wooden floors, and an exposed brick wall set apart from the main bar area created a vibe that’s modern yet comfortably unpretentious. Little Mercies‘ cocktails are as intriguing as the décor, often playful twists on classics. Alan and his crew aren’t ones to rush – crafting a cocktail that meets their high standards takes time. The ‚Moro Margarita‘ and the ‚Kiwi Gimlet‘ stood out during our visit. The margarita, spiked with fruity blood orange, and the gimlet, a fusion of fermented kiwi, gin, and (kiwi) vodka, are crowd favorites. The bar’s back area resembles a scientific lab, showcasing the dedication that goes into their creations. For these innovative drinks and the warm welcome from the Little Mercies team, a trip to Crouch End is well worth it. And let’s not even get started on the rumors about the best bar food in all of North London – it’s on our list for the next visit.

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Three Sheets


Bar Guide London

If we bring up Three Sheets at this point, it’s more than a coincidence. Little Mercies and this Dalston gem share more than a few similarities. It all begins with the masterminds behind the bar. The Venning brothers, Noel and Max, who are also the brains behind Three Sheets, joined forces with Alan Sherwood to create the Little Mercies. Even before the birth of Little Mercies, their Dalston venture had gained citywide recognition. Today, Three Sheets stands as a prominent fixture in London’s bar scene. Its surging popularity, however, comes with a caveat – the snug, elegantly minimalist space fills up rapidly, not just on weekends. Yet, for Noel and Max, this only reaffirms that their distinct concept for this unique neighborhood bar has struck a chord. While Three Sheets offers excellent wine and beer, our focus was, naturally, on the cocktails. The menu, undergoing almost weekly transformations, presents three columns of drinks, ranging from „One Sheet“ to „Three Sheets.“ This categorization guides patrons from lighter (low ABV) to stronger cocktails. A notable mention in the „One Sheet“ category is the effervescent „French 75,“ a Three Sheets signature unlikely to ever leave the menu. It serves as the ideal prelude to an evening at Three Sheets, a sentiment shared not just by us. Max then treats us to the „Rhubarb + Orris,“ infused with fermented rhubarb, where floral notes dance harmoniously with Belvedere vodka. The menu also features a selection of changing highballs. A visit to Three Sheets is an enlightening experience, revealing why our bar-loving hearts gravitate toward Dalston.

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The Umbrella Project


Bar Guide London

Shoreditch remains a vibrant and thrilling neighborhood, and since the onset of 2022, The Umbrella Project has made its mark in this dynamic area. Don’t be misled by the name; it’s not your typical bar, though exceptional cocktails are, of course, part of the experience. Instead, this establishment offers a multifaceted encounter within its cozy confines (housing just 12 seats). It’s a wine store, a repository of rarities, a cocktail laboratory, and, yes, a cocktail bar—all rolled into one. Managed by the team behind The Sun Tavern and the speakeasy haven Discount Suit Company (more on that later), The Umbrella Project shares intriguing ties with these two Shoreditch establishments. Here, innovative drinks are crafted week after week, some of which might eventually grace the menus of its sibling bars. Guests, however, are not mere „guinea pigs“ because the bar team’s expertise is beyond experimentation. Moreover, only the finest spirits, often from small, independent producers, find their way into the concoctions at The Umbrella Project. The array of gin, whiskey, and mezcal is not only impressive but also a testament to owner Andy Kerr’s strong connections with numerous producers. Alongside five to six weekly-changing cocktail creations, patrons can, of course, savor all the classics. Yet, we’d recommend embracing a more adventurous spirit, as The Umbrella Project thrives on the ethos of testing, trying, and surprising. Andy and his team epitomize true innovation and creativity in today’s bar scene.

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Discount Suit Company


Bar Guide London

From The Umbrella Project, we swiftly found ourselves at Discount Suit Company (DSC), as promised. Despite its name suggesting a mundane men’s tailor, this spot has harbored an exceptional speakeasy bar for nearly a decade. Nestled near the renowned Old Spitalfields Market, not far from Brick Lane, it offers an escape from city life. Descending an unassuming staircase into a basement, guests discover a remarkably cozy bar tucked behind a curtain. The ambiance, reminiscent of Happiness Forgets, strikes us as even more rustic, with a slightly dimmer atmosphere. Brick walls and abundant woodwork define the character of this intimate space. As owner Andy Kerr shared with us, the somewhat cumbersome name of the bar was retained to preserve the historical signage still adorning the building. Once a real tailor’s establishment, Discount Suit Company now crafts house cocktails inspired by classics, some of which have achieved near-classic status themselves. The bar menu showcases eight to ten contemporary cocktails alongside several enduring DSC classics. The „Tigerstyle,“ featuring El Dorado and Oaxacan rum served with a generous helping of crushed ice, stands out. Another DSC classic, the „Wicked Pickett,“ skillfully melds bitter and fruity notes by combining vodka, Campari, Greek Axia Mastiha, and raspberry and peach aperitif. The „Dust my Bloom,“ leaning towards the Old Fashioned style, caters to aficionados of robust, „boozy“ drinks. In addition to the adept bartenders, the helpful suggestions on the cocktail menu („If you like this, try this…“) act as a guiding thread through the realms of mixology. It’s unlikely that you’ll settle for just one round here, making Discount Suit Company a compelling stop for the discerning bar-goer.

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Side Hustle


Bar Guide London

There aren’t many reasons to trade the East London vibes for the West, but Side Hustle is a worthy exception. Despite being part of the NoMad Hotel, this place is far from your typical hotel bar. It’s a lively mix of Latin American spirits, cocktails, and good eats, all set in what used to be a police station. You’ll catch a glimpse of the past with a picture of a bobby at the entrance, a nod to the building’s history. Once you step in through the separate street entrance, you might not even realize it’s part of the NoMad Hotel. The inside is cozy and stylish, with a fancy marble bar that practically calls your name. There’s more than meets the eye here. Beyond the cool photos on the walls, the real magic happens with the Side Hustle bar menu, curated by NoMad’s VP of food & beverage Leo Robitschek and bar director Liana Oster. They’ve put together a selection that’s all about the best Latin American spirits, where tequila and mezcal take the spotlight. With choices like the „Seasonal Margarita“ and the „Toreador,“ we decide to go for the tequila-based „Pandan Negroni.“ It’s so good we wouldn’t mind a round two, but then there’s a Tjoget pop-up at Side Hustle that night. We can’t pass up the chance to taste the drinks from our favorite Stockholm bar, and guess what? They pair surprisingly well with Side Hustle’s Mexican bar food—think various tortilla dips and tasty tacos. Considering the place’s history, can we call it a „Guilty“ Pleasure? We think so, enjoying the mix of the old and the new.

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Kol Mezcaleria


Bar Guide London

Let’s linger in Mexico for a bit, right where Kol Mezcaleria calls home. Now, if the name „Kol“ conjures images of a posh gourmet spot in London, you’re spot on. This mezcaleria, nestled in the basement of the award-laden restaurant, is usually booked up for months, but it’s somewhat easier to snag a seat here than in the main restaurant. Still, a reservation isn’t a bad idea. The moment you step into Kol Mezcaleria, the authentic design whisks you away to Mexico. The vibe is relaxed and cozy, setting the perfect stage for the mezcal experience. The bar menu here takes an intriguing approach. It’s structured around two ingredient pairings, offering a cocktail with an agave spirit and another with gin, rum, or whiskey, all sourced from Mexico. Yes, you read that right—Mexican gin and whiskey. It’s refreshing to see a focus on these rare spirits. Picture this: The Lost Explorer Salmiana Mezcal, dry vermouth, and vodka come together for a first-class Martini. Meanwhile, Head Bartender Matthias Ingelmann crafts a Boulevardier using Sierra Norte Corn Whiskey, Campari, vermouth, and intriguing woodruff and coffee flavors. It’s an adventurous twist on classic cocktails, aligning with Kol’s „Mexican Soul – British Ingredients“ philosophy. Matthias shares a fun fact: the guacamole here is made from peas, not avocados. By the way, Matthias, the winner of the 2016 „Made in GSA Competition,“ happens to be an old student friend of Sven Goller. If you recall, we visited Sven in the summer at his bar „Das schwarze Schaf“ in Bamberg. Despite the later intrusion of London rain, we can’t fault Matthias or Kol Mezcaleria for breaking the illusion of a Mexican getaway. The experience was still a winner.

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The Bar with no Name (69 Colebrooke Row)


Bar Guide London

Soho’s renowned Termini bar has a slightly lesser-known „sister,“ though the level of notoriety is undoubtedly subjective, and we’re not keen on picking favorites. Why choose when both establishments bring Italian aperitivo culture to the vibrant heart of London? While Bar Termini caters to daytime cravings with drinks, coffee delights, and Italian snacks, The Bar with no Name prefers to unveil its allure in the early evening. Tracking down the address 69 Colebrooke Row, often a pseudonym for this nostalgically delightful bar, leads us to the charming neighborhood of Islington in the northeast. Wrapped in Italian memorabilia, film noir references, and an abundance of retro charm, the venue offers a haven for savoring top-notch house cocktails like the „Manhattan Steel Corp“ (featuring maraschino liqueur) or the tantalizing „Osmanthus Negroni.“ Classic Negronis and other cocktail staples are also on offer, tailor-made for guests upon request. A particularly unique concoction and a signature gem from the 69 Colebrooke Row menu is the „Prairie Oyster.“ This unconventional cocktail visually recreates an oyster using tomatoes. The liquid surprise within the faux oyster is an experience we’ll keep under wraps for now. And don’t mistake the piano tucked in the corner for mere decoration; it gets lively use several times a week. Picture this: enjoying your drinks alongside Italian antipasti, prosciutto, or cheese, all serenaded by live music. It’s our vision of „La dolce vita“ in the heart of London.

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Bar Guide London

He’s simply known as „Mr. Lyan,“ and when people mention him, everyone in the know recognizes Ryan Chetiyawardana. Over the past decade, Ryan has left an indelible mark on London’s bar scene, showcasing innovation and creativity through establishments like „Dandelyan“ and sustainable ventures like „CUB.“ His achievements include numerous accolades, including „International Bartender of the Year.“ We had the pleasure of meeting Ryan years ago for a feature on our blog, during which we experienced the legendary Afternoon Tea at Dandelyan. Now, five years later, we return to the same spot along the Thames, where the heartbeat of Lyaness Bar resonates, echoing many elements from the iconic Dandelyan. The colossal green marble bar counter remains an absolute showstopper, complemented by a striking color scheme of turquoise blue and gold, creating a vivid contrast against the bar’s elegant wooden floor. The ambiance, still captivating today, owes much to its location right on the Thames. Ryan and his team continue to showcase their mixology prowess, fearlessly experimenting with unconventional ingredients and flavor combinations for their drinks. Their latest bar menu, „The Ancestral Cookbook,“ unveiled at the end of 2022, attests to this creativity. Notable cocktails include the visually intriguing „Black Champagne“ featuring Porter’s Old Tropical Old Tom Gin, passion fruit, and a plant called Stechwinde (yes, we had to Google it first), resulting in a distinctly black libation. The menu’s other sections, such as „Nature vs. Nurture“ and „Circularity,“ tantalize the palate with innovative flavors in each cocktail glass. As a guest, you’re encouraged to embark on a journey of culinary discovery. It’s this forward-thinking approach that endears us to Mr. Lyan and Lyaness. Recently, with the addition of the Seed Library in Shoreditch, the Lyan universe has expanded even further. Here’s to the continuous growth of this progressive and inspiring mixology haven.

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Eve Bar


Bar Guide London

“Resist everything but temptation“ is the guiding philosophy at the Eve Bar in Covent Garden. Immediately signaling this ethos, these four words illuminate the entrance in bold neon letters, enticing guests into the subterranean realm. Operated above by celebrity chef Adam Handling and his award-winning fine-dining restaurant, Frog, Eve Bar, under Handling’s ownership, reflects a perfectionist’s touch evident in every facet of its concept. As guests descend into the underground haven, they are enveloped in a dark, atmospheric space accentuated by well-placed highlights, including two colored wall windows portraying Adam and Eve for a reason. While pondering whether the mythical duo might have sought refuge at Eve Bar post-expulsion, one thing is clear—this is a sanctuary to leave stress and troubles behind. The current bar menu adheres to a distinct philosophy, aligning with the increasingly popular low/zero waste concept. Utilizing ingredients from food items not featured on Frog’s menu and deemed unsuitable for snacks, the bar team, led by director Josh Linfitt, crafts truly extraordinary cocktails employing six different techniques—fermentation, clarification, infusion, distillation, and more. Standout concoctions include the „Coffee Slayer,“ reminiscent of an espresso martini, and the „Firecracker,“ a spicy margarita variation featuring tequila and mezcal, heightened by the kick of kimchi—fermented vegetables repurposed from the restaurant’s surplus. The „Perfect, Three Cherries“ centers around the cherry, infusing blossoms into dry vermouth and steeping pitted fruit in sweet vermouth. Macallan Double Cask Whisky, enriched with cherries, completes this must-try drink for aficionados of „Manhattan“ or „Brooklyn“ variations. Indulging in temptation has never been more irresistible.

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Tayer + Elementary


Bar Guide London

No visit to London would be complete without experiencing Monica Berg and Alex Kratena’s Tayer + Elementary. This East London establishment, which seamlessly doubles as a laboratory or workshop, has garnered global acclaim, and rightfully so. Over the years, Monica and Alex have honed their mixology craft to perfection in this avant-garde space. In the front section, known as the Elementary and visible from the street, cocktails such as the „Vetiver Negroni“ or the „Bergamot Margarita“ flow from taps alongside beer and wine. Yet, the true heartbeat of the bar resonates in the room behind—the Tayer. Encircled by a U-shaped counter and an abundance of exposed concrete, novel concoctions are expertly crafted night after night at the honeycomb-shaped bar station. Eschewing elaborate names, the menu boldly emphasizes the defining flavor of each drink. On our visit, highlights included the „Perique Tobacco, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Lysholm Linie Aquavit, Courvoisier VSOP Cognac“ and the „Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Pipacha Oolong Tea, González Byass Alfonso Oloroso Sherry, Minus 8 Red Verjus.“ The House Martini, pre-batched and served ice-cold, adds to the distinctive experience. A „Sold Out“ stamp matter-of-factly marks particularly popular cocktails when ingredients run dry. Tayer’s atmosphere stands out among its peers—modern yet not aloof, laid-back but not overly festive. Monica and Alex have tapped into a unique vein that resonates perfectly with our sensibilities. The music selection, featuring German and Eastern European trap, drill, and hip hop, might divide opinions, but we’re all in—it’s a vibe. If you have any qualms, Alex is more than willing to hear them out.

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Callooh Callay


Bar Guide London

Fifteen years ago, the landscape of London’s bars, particularly in East London’s burgeoning Shoreditch, was distinctly different. In the midst of this transformation, Callooh Callay emerged as pioneers, reshaping the concept of a bar. Their mission was clear: deliver top-notch drinks without the elitist airs found in some other establishments. At Callooh Callay, everything is infused with a sense of fun and a touch of whimsy, never taking itself too seriously. The bar draws its name from the renowned British author Lewis Carroll, famed for „Alice in Wonderland“ and „Alice Behind the Mirrors.“ Echoes of Carroll’s literary universe permeate Callooh Callay’s interior, including a mirrored closet concealing the expansive bar adorned with street art and a spacious lounge area. Callooh Callay has consistently made waves with its inventive cocktail menus. The current „PokeMenu,“ a nod to a Japanese phenomenon, boasts nearly 20 unique creations. Among them, the „Mankey“ (featuring Toki Japanese whisky in lieu of gin) stands out, resembling a Ramos Gin Fizz. The crowd here skews younger, particularly on weekends, creating an energetic and vibrant atmosphere that might lean towards boisterous and loud. Callooh Callay serves as the antidote to gloom, a bar that can bring at least a small grin to even the most reticent of patrons. Lewis Carroll would likely find himself in agreement.

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Bar Guide London

Riding the elevator to the third floor of the sophisticated Devonshire House, the anticipation of a unique bar experience begins to build. As the elevator doors open, the Silverleaf Bar, unveiled in early 2022, unfolds before your eyes, surpassing even the loftiest expectations. By London standards, the establishment is a visual marvel. Tom Dixon’s masterful touch is evident throughout the entire interior, creating a seamless blend of opulence, style, and warmth in the expansive bar area. The space features inviting and spacious seating, including funnel-shaped armchairs and an extended leather couch. A walk-in whiskey chamber, housing special treasures, adds to the allure. Opting for seats at the bar, we are greeted by bartender Jacob Drew, who introduces us to the Silverleaf’s cocktail menu. Each drink is named after an unexpected pair of ingredients, resulting in delightful surprises. Take, for instance, the „Verbena / Olive Oil“ from the Silverleaf Classics series, a martini variant featuring Japanese Roku gin and Greek Mastiha liqueur. Its taste matches the bar’s exquisite design. Another standout is the „Tarte Tatin / Whey,“ combining the flavors of French apple pie with Eagle Rare bourbon and Santa Teresa 1796 rum, aged in bourbon barrels. Employing methods like fermentation, clarification, and distillation, the bar team crafts flavors from unconventional ingredients blended with classic drinks. For those intrigued, the bartenders willingly provide a mini mixology crash course. Whether you choose to savor your cocktail at your own pace or dive into mixology insights, Silverleaf accommodates both, creating an environment that feels just right.

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Bar Guide London

Hardly any other bar is as closely associated with a specific cocktail as Swift is with the Irish Coffee. Even outside, a sign advertises „Swift’s world-famous Irish Coffee.“ Currently, three bars in London bear the name Swift. We recently visited the Shoreditch bar, newly opened in the midst of the pandemic, which can probably be best compared to the upper part of the original Soho location. At least both bars share the same Art Deco style. Here, starting from 3 PM daily, patrons can enjoy not only the famous Irish Coffee but also various aperitivo drinks, house cocktails, and classics. When the temperature rises, Frozen Drinks like the „Watermelon Margarita“ become real bestsellers. However, guests still order the Swift Irish Coffee even in the midst of the English summer. Apparently, they know here that warm drinks, especially with alcohol and sugar (let’s set that aside for now), provide the desired refreshment in the heat. At Swift, barflies mingle with London tourists, business people enjoy after-work drinks, and aperitivo enthusiasts savor their favorite beverages. This mix contributes to the charm of such a bar. Whether for a pre-dinner drink or later in the evening, a visit to Swift is worthwhile, thanks to its consistency, consistently high quality, and, last but not least, the iconic Irish Coffee that has long achieved cult status.

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While there is only one New York, this is already the second and final edition of Sneakerzimmer’s bar guide to share our personal insights into NYC’s best bars and bartenders. Watching the Covid-19 drama unfold, the last weeks were extremely painful. We can only hope for better times. Our minds and hearts belong to all the great people of NYC, the doctors and nurses, the hard-working employees in the hospitality industry, who might have lost their jobs, and especially to our friends Emily and Hamid. Let’s focus on the light at the end of the tunnel! In the meantime a drink and our guide might help to shorten the wait.

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Hey, you’re the comeback kid
See me look away
I’m the runaway
I’m the stay out late
I’m recovering

– Sharon Van Etten, Comeback Kid


Crown Shy (Financial District)


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Yes this is a bar in a restaurant – or more precisely – a very good bar in a very good restaurant. Last year’s opening of Jeff Katz’s and chef James Kent’s fine dining temple Crown Shy on Pine Street certainly ranked among New York’s hottest new restaurants. We are totally in love with Crown Shy’s unique combination of exquisite food in a truly remarkable setting. But the elegant Art Décoarchitecture is not only home to a memorable dining experience (please see our latest NYC food guide for more details), the ambitious bar program curated by head bartender Harrison Ginsberg – formerly The Dead Rabbit – also puts Crown Shy among NYC’s top spots for cocktail lovers. Harrison pointed out that classic cocktails are usually quite strong in NYC. But as more and more people tend to low-ABV drinks (ABV stands for “alcoholic strength by volume”) they decided to reduce the alcoholic content of their own creations – also with regard to the flavorful food that should not be dominated by a excessively stiff beverage pairing. Their highball section called “Crowns” mixes different popular spirits like vodka, pisco or gin with fruity or other seasonal ingredients to create a crisp and refreshing long drink. All “Crowns” like the pictured “Vodka Crown” with tarragon and cucumber are served in a picturesque glassware matching the distinctive Art Déco style of the place. The other drinks from Crown Shy’s sophisticated bar menu are divided into a “Stirred & Bold” and a “Shaken & Fresh” section. The Tequila-based “Radicle” uses habanero chili to create a mild heat that goes astonishingly well with the flavors of raspberry and rhubarb. We also don’t want to forget the non-alcoholic choices. It doesn’t matter if you just come by  for a drink at the bar or for the full dinner experience (highly recommended) — in either case Crown Shy is more than a safe bet!

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Subject (Lower East Side)


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How do you find the best bars in a big city like New York? Ask the professionals! No we aren‘ttalking about ourselves, we just soak up all recommendations from bartenders and industry insiders who we meet during our trips and squeeze them into a handy guide. It’s easy to miss a nondescript spot like Subject even if you think that you know a lot about the Lower East Side. But with a little help from Sean Saunders of Devon (check out our first NYC bar guide) we were thankfully pointed in the right direction. Subject could be the prototype of a low-key neighborhood joint. It’s unpretentious, cozy, honest and always available. At least this place is open every day of the year until 4 AM. Even for New York this seems more than rare and it might explain why Subject is a favorite among bartenders. In the back a big screen shows cult movies mostly from the 90’s and 2000’s adding to the homely living room feeling. Here you simply grab a seat at the bar and start a chat with the bartender. Perhaps you will catch Brian Grummart on his shift. We can assure you that you will be in good hands (that’s quite an understatement). Brian may recommend you one of their house cocktails like the extremely delicious “Thyme lasts forever”. The combination of gin, thyme liqueur – hence the name – kiwi and fresh lemon makes for a surprisingly well-balanced drink. If somebody started a petition for more kiwi cocktails, count us in! At Subject there’s no false affectation, no showing off, no fake hospitality. While the crowd on a Friday or Saturday night can sometimes get a little too jolly, Subject still manages to keep its self-proclaimed “Welcome Home” vibes. Those are even more present on weekdays.

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The Long Island Bar (Cobble Hill)


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It’s not easy to blend the old with the new, the past with the present, but despite all the obstacles that could arise from such an endeavor, some places hit all the right notes. Let’s introduce The Long Island Bar on Cobble Hill’s Atlantic Avenue as a blueprint for this tricky concept. In business since 1951 and under a new ownership since 2013, this iconic place embodies New York’s cocktail culture without any gimmicks or a fake attitude. Toby Cecchini and his business partner Joel Tompkins had a clear vision when they took over the bar seven years ago: On the one hand honoring The Long Island Bar’s rich history and that of the surrounding neighborhood – Cobble Hill was once a popular destination for sailors with endless bars, brothels and diners – on the other hand nothing short of establishing the perfect neighborhood bar. From over perspective, Toby and Joel definitely achieved both goals with their concept of a revitalized classic bar program. The illuminated neon signs on the façade will guide you directly to a place where knowledgeable bartenders serve great, timeless drinks like an Old Fashioned, a Boulevardier or a Gimlet. As Toby told us, he will never remove eitherof those classics from the menu. In the end, all of them are irreplaceable parts of the bar’s DNA. You can almost feel the so-called “good old times” in every detail of the interior. From the walls and their real patina to the cozy booths, all the small pieces fit together creating a highly authentic journey through time and bar history. And even though this is a bar guide, we have to mention their famous burger. You get the deal right?

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Sweet Afton (Astoria)


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A New York bar guide wouldn‘t be complete without all the great neighborhood joints from all across this big and beautiful city. As already pointed out in our latest food guide, we highly encourage you to explore the places off the beaten track. Go to the different neighborhoods and ask the locals about their favorite places! We’re pretty sure that if you go to Astoria – which is easily accessible by the N- and W-trains – many will tell you to check out Sweet Afton on 34th Street. This place just celebrated its “10 sweet years” in business. Apparently these guys must do something damn right! Owned by the same people as The Bonnie bar (feel free to check our food guide) Sweet Afton fortunately sticks to the same friendly neighborhood vibes. It’s also a hybrid between a laid-back bar and a casual restaurant very similar to the above-mentioned The Bonnie. Besides cocktails you can also choose between many different craft beers from local breweries and a mouth-watering food menu including their famous “Sweet Afton Burger”. For their 10-year-anniversary the bar’s interior got a complete redesign by Wes Anderson’s set decorator Kris Moran. The results of his work are present all over the place (we won’t spoil the fun). Sweet Afton’s bar director Cory Miller runs an eclectic bar program with some seasonal inspiration and many dearly-beloved classics. During our visit we found drinks like a “Winter Sangria” or the Whiskey-based “Sweater Weather” on the menu. The pictured “She’s the One” made with hibiscus-infused vodka and pisco is a crowd-pleaser, Cory told us. Get one and you will know why! Sweet Afton is not only worth a trip to Astoria, it’s also worth making a return.

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Bar Pisellino (West Village)


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The place for “La dolce vita” in NYC is obviously not the tourist trap called Little Italy. Instead you can experience authentic Italian vibes in a relatively small area located between the West Village and Washington Square Park. While we already picked the one-of-a-kind Dante for our first NYC bar guide, there’s by now another charming café/aperitivo bar in that area. Just a stone’s throw away from Christopher Park with the famous Stonewall monument, Bar Pisellino awaits all aficionados of Italian deliciousness. The instant success of that quite recently opened corner spot comes as no surprise. The co-owners Rita Sodi and Jody Williams were already making big waves as two award-winning chefs with their restaurants “I Sodi”, “Buvette” and “Via Carota” (all located in the West Village). Bar Pisellino is their take on a classic Italian bar. Open from early mornings serving espresso and other coffee specialties to late evenings offering different wines, aperitivi and classic cocktails this place seems always busy but never in a rush. When the weather is good, people line up on the sidewalk with Bar Pisellino’s aperitivo drinks and small bites (don’t blame us for getting hooked on the panini and bombolini). But not only their food is a celebration of the real Italy, the same can be said about Bar Pisellino’s cocktails – most of them using vermouth or amari – overseen by Ex-Dante bartender Stacey Swenson. Hence there are not many bars in NYC where you will find a better Martini – smooth, rich, highly satisfying. But of course all drinks that the bar teamwill send over Pisellino’s beautiful curved marble counter match the highest standards in mixology. Even Italians will agree.

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Attaboy (Lower East Side)


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Some people need no introduction. Everyone who is familiar with NYC’s history of craft cocktails will stumble across the names of Michael McIlroy and Sam Ross sooner or later. These two guys are living legends, both having worked with Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey back in the day. After this cathedral of modern drinking closed its doors, Michael and Sam took over the old Milk & Honey space on Eldridge Street. It was the hour of birth for their own “baby” Attaboy that promptly became their next success story. As a guest you immediately sense you are in for an extraordinary cocktail experience. First of all there, is no menu. Instead, Attaboy’s experienced bartenders will involve you in a little Q&A sessiontrying to figure out your personal taste when it comes to cocktails. As this might sound a little intimidating especially for cocktail newbies, let’s make clear that this in fact not the case. Everyone is welcome at Attaboy, just be prepared to wait in line for one of the few seats in this really tiny, intimate space that gets quite busy every night – 7 days a week. If you can manage it, come here early on a weekday or put your name on the waiting list. They operate on a first come, first served policy and therefore don’t take reservations. In our opinion Attaboy’s superb drinks and their unique approach to hospitality are worth almost every wait. We met Michael on a sunny afternoon at Attaboy. In daylight the bar looks completely different. When night falls, Attaboy’s speakeasy vibes take over the venue, transforming it into a truly magical, low-lit spot with reams of small candles and first-rate spirits. Make sure to also check out Michael’s and Sam’s new casual hangout Diamond Reef in Brooklyn. It might be as popular as Attaboy some day.

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Nitecap (Lower East Side)


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Only a few places sweep us off our feet. This marvelous kitschy bar tucked away in a basement on the Lower East Side that recently celebrated its 6th anniversary definitely falls in this category. Nitecap is at the same time a playful neighborhood joint and a “serious” bar with an ambitious cocktail program. Don’t let the colorful, highly imaginative menu fool you! Every edition comes up with new surprises and inventive drinks. Starting with aperitifs, continuing with more boozy drinks (hence the name “firewater”) and some so called “gulpable thirst quenchers” and a final selection of “nitecaps” their craft cocktails will probably please all kinds of barflies. But Nitecap’s owner Natasha David – formerly of Williamsburg’s well-known oyster bar “Maison Premiere” – understands that people are not only thirsty for a good drink. Therefore the crew at Nitecap places the same emphasis on the overall experience, which includes an “everyone is welcome” mindset and a quirky atmosphere. Obviously this intimate, LGBTQ-friendly bar doesn’t take itself too seriously – another great plus. With all the blinking lights and the intentionally trashy décor Nitecap has established its own style. Guests, who are called “nitecappers”, can experience chilled vibes during the week and a party attitude at the weekends. The cozy interior as well as the signature drinks by head bartender Ari Daskauskas share the same attention to detail. While there are unfortunately too many pretenders out there, it’s good to know the real ones.After six years in business Nitecap has earned its status as one of NYC’s best neighborhood bars. We always leave this bar with a smile and the craving to coming back.

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Black Emperor Bar (East Village)


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The ever-changing East Village is home to an endless number of bars, restaurants, clubs and cafés. It’s probably one of the toughest places to successfully run a bar in the long term. Having this in mindyou have to give kudos to award-winning bartender Ben Rojo, whose name was previously associated with the legendary East Village speakeasy Angel’s Share (go there, have a drink or two and send some greetings to barchef Takuma from us). Now Ben is managing partner of a relatively new Japanese-style place on 2nd Avenue. It’s called Black Emperor Bar. This cozy joint has an authentic dive feel to it, playing with East Asian influences and a charming neighborhood vibe. You can watch old Japanese black-and-white-movies while sipping a cold beer, a traditional sake or one of their house cocktails. The refreshing “Toki Highball” made with Japanese whiskey of the same name (it’s a mild blend of different Suntory whiskeys) is always a safe and highly satisfying choice. For a hot summer night we recommend the “Deer Hunter”, a frozen slushy-style drink with tequila. The unpretentious drinks are a reflection of the fun we had. It’s almost unthinkable not to enjoy your time here. Ben’s dive-like bar is also well-known for its diversified food pop-ups with some really great restaurants from all over the Village. Just recently they teamed up with the guys from celebrated wine bar Ruffian and Kindred, two critic’s darlings in that area. Serving mouth-watering bar food like burgers and chicken wings with an Asian twist their combo of drinks and food comes close to the perfect culinary match. We can only give you one advice: Hang out at the bar, soak up the atmosphere and experience East Village’s hospitality.

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Mister Paradise (East Village)


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From Black Emperor you can get to our next destination Mister Paradise within walking distance. And even though both bars are only separated by some blocks, each one represents a different world of mixology. Based on a highly playful take on a modern and accessible cocktail bar – you might consider it their common ground – they went in completely different directions. While Black Emperor is more of a dive spot with fun drinks and excellent food pop-ups, Mister Paradise feels more fancy and elaborated. We love ´em both! Mister Paradise adds an upscale vibe to East Village’s cocktail culture. At the same time those guys manage to incorporate the authenticity of the neighborhood into their truly unique concept. But wait! Who are “those guys”? It turns out that Mister Paradise is run by some very familiar names. Barchef and co-founder Will Wyatt once worked at world famous NoMad bar. His business partner Eric Kruvant is associated with another East Village spot called Drexler’s. At Mister Paradise they successfully combine an ámbitious bar program with a very casual attitude (patrons are welcomed by the slogan “probably the best cocktails”). Irony is part of that game. The place itself looks beautiful as every piece of the puzzle falls in place. From the Art Déco styled bar to the inviting big leather booths and the more than slightly odd images Will and Eric know how to create something new and modern. There is a very special private back room adorned in screaming red with a boxing kangaroo pic on the wall that teleports you into a different dimension. All the cocktails we had kept up with the sophisticated interior. The “Party Lobster” became their hot seller. Made with tequila, mezcal, Campari, watermelon, fermented habanero (!), lime and garlic it will definitely surprise you. As a cocktail lover make sure to add Mister Paradise to your friends list!

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The Raines Law Room (Chelsea)


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We are suckers for great speakeasies that handle things not only as cheap gimmicks. Either you approach such a concept with seriousness and an eye for every detail or you better stop thinking about running a speakeasy joint altogether. But don’t worry! We will guide you to the right places. This is definitely one of them. Upon entering The Raines Law Room flagship in Chelsea (there’s a second location at The William hotel) you will be teleported into another dimension. Leaving NYC’s bustle and hustle at the doorstep this place puts all emphasis on the perfect ambience for real cocktail connoisseurs. It’s the elegant, fancy version of the twilight zone. Established over 10 years ago it became a blueprint for successful speakeasies. Bar director Meaghan Dorman, who once studied at legendary Milk & Honey, joined forces with a team of experienced restaurateurs to create an almost timeless speakeasy. While this idea seemed quite new back in 2009, many copycats with a similar strategy have emerged over the years. The Raines Law Room’s recipe of success relies on the overall experience. It’s the combination of a deliberate venue with a lounge-like layout, a classy environment and an excellent cocktail menu with seasonal entries and time-honored classics. Technically, there is no bar to hang out. Instead you will be seated on plush leather sofas separated by airy curtains. The dimly lit space feels intimate and elegant. It looks completely unremarkable from the street level – hence true speakeasy style. The beautiful interior matches Meaghan’s cocktails that are partly inspired by the seasons, by classic drinks like the Manhattan (that section is called “New York State of Mind”) or are simply spirit-forward (“Stirred & Strong”). And don’t forget the “What we’re drinking” section with the staff favorites. As this place has become so popular, we highly recommend to show up early – especially on a busy Friday and Saturday night. Don’t be afraid to wait, The Raines Law Room is worth it.

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Amor y Amargo (East Village)


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More and more bars find their own small niche. But in order to thrive and prosper it takes some guts and courage at the beginning. Without any doubt Sother Teague – one of New York’s most charismatic figures within the bar industry, a bartender/author/podcaster/brand ambassador – is a man on a mission. He loves bitters and bitter-based drinks. Therefore he opened Amor y Amargo back in 2011 as a hideaway for all bitter connoisseurs. Located next to the utterly famous Death & Co. Sother’s tiny bar welcomes you with open arms. The limited space seats only about 10 to 12 guests with some additional standing room. Just recently, a spin-off opened in Williamsburg that follows in Amor y Amargo’s footsteps. While we still have to check out this new venue, we’re pretty sure that Sother will ensure the same high standards for his Williamsburg patrons. With all the different amaro brands from around the world impressively lined up on the shelves we recommend a tasting especially for those who might not be so familiar with the more complex flavors. Sother and his team love to share their passion and wisdom with every guest looking for  some education. There are no juices or other sweet fillers on the menu. Instead you are encouraged to start with the lighter, more easy-drinking cocktails and finish with the stronger ones like their very own “8 Amaro Sazerac”. The “Sharpie Moustache” is not only an Instagram darling (thanks to the presentation) but also a perfect example of Amor y Amargo’s straight-forward philosophy. Accurately described as a “bitters tasting room” Sother’s vision goes way beyond the traditional cocktail bar. He’s the best teacher we can think of!

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In case you’re still thirsty at this point, make sure to also check out part 1 with more of our favorite neighborhood bars and speakeasies. Meet the great men and women who define New York’s cocktail culture today.

2019 war kein einfaches Jahr. Zumindest wenn man wie ich eigentlich ein Yeezy-Fan ist. Es kamen einfach viel zu viele und viel zu ähnliche Yeezys auf den Markt. Dieser wurde ja praktisch überflutet, womit Kanye sein altes Versprechen („Yeezys for everyone!“) endgültig einlöste – sicherlich nicht zur Freude aller. Man kann durchaus hinterfragen, wie sinnvoll ein weiterer Restock eines alten Yeezy-Releases ist. Vor allem der Yeezy Boost 350 ist längst ein absolutes Massen- und Mainstream-Modell. Dafür muss man noch nicht einmal die unzähligen Fakes hinzurechnen. Ich bleibe dennoch ein Liebhaber gerade der frühen Releases wie der ersten 350er-Generation oder des Yeezy 700 „Wave Runner“. Sogar den oft verspotteten Yeezy 500 mag ich sehr gerne (nur nicht so sehr an mir).

Yeezy 700 v3 Azael

Meine Yeezy-Sammlung wäre auch nicht größer geworden, gäbe es da nicht den 700 v3 „Azael“. Der inzwischen legendäre Clip von Kanye und DJ Khaled vor ihren Privatjets konnte mich noch nicht so ganz überzeugen. Das war für mich eher Entertainment. Als dann aber bessere Bilder auftauchten, war meine Neugier mehr und mehr geweckt. Und was soll ich sagen? Auch nach über einem Monat ist meine Begeisterung für den „Azael“ noch immer so groß wie am ersten Tag. Ich bin mir sogar fast sicher, dass dieser Yeezy im Gegensatz zu der ganzen Masse ziemlich austauschbarer YZY-Drops auch in einem, zwei oder drei Jahren nicht vergessen sein wird. Dafür spricht sein mutiges Design, das sich von seinen Vorgängern doch in vielen Punkten sehr deutlich unterscheidet.

Yeezy 700 v3 Azael

Der Cage des „Azael“, der mich entfernt an ein Exoskelett erinnert, ist natürlich ein besonderer Hingucker. Er ist einerseits dominant und mächtig, zum anderen wirkt er dank seiner Aussparungen auch sehr dynamisch und leicht. Überhaupt fügen sich die einzelnen Teile hier wie in einem Puzzle perfekt zusammen. Die Kombination aus Cage, gemustertem Textil-Upper, Neopren-Bootie und der nicht weniger auffälligen Außensohle harmoniert ausgesprochen gut miteinander. Das Design des neuen 700 v3 scheint eine organische Logik zu besitzen. Ich wüsste jedenfalls nicht, was man an ihm verändern sollte oder müsste. Auch im Vergleich zum ebenfalls neuen Yeezy 380 würde ihm jederzeit den Vorzug geben.

Yeezy 700 v3 Azael

Da viele wissen möchten, wie der 700 v3 ausfällt, will ich noch erwähnen, dass ich hier die gleiche Größe wie in meinen anderen Yeezys trage. Natürlich kann ich keine Garantie abgeben, dass es bei Euch ähnlich sein muss. Es soll mehr eine Orientierung sein, falls Ihr nicht die Gelegenheit habt, den 700 v3 vorher einmal anzuprobieren. Mit dem „Triple Black“ steht ja auch schon der nächste und vermutlich nicht letzte v3-Release in den Startlöchern. Meine Hoffnung wäre, dass der Look des v3 vielleicht doch etwas zu unangepasst und ungewöhnlich ist, um ihn wie den 350er „auszuschlachten“. Dass er sogar in New York bislang nicht an jeder Ecke zu sehen war, macht mir etwas Mut. Only Ye knows!


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Wenn wir gelegentlich in Berlin sind, dann gibt es dort für uns nur ganz wenige Dinge, die praktisch immer auf unserem Programm stehen. Neben einem Drink in einer großartigen Bar wie dem Truffle Pig oder der Goldfisch Bar, einem Lunch bei Yafo und einem Treffen mit unseren Berliner Freunden ist vor allem ein Besuch in der Hauptstadt-Filiale von Sneakersnstuff (SNS) immer eine absolute Freude. Das liegt weniger an den dort erhältlichen Sneakers – die meisten gibt es schließlich auch in anderen Sneaker-Stores – sondern an dem großartigen Team um Store Manager Raphael.

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Dabei zeigen Rapha und die SNS-Crew, dass man mit dem richtigen Kundenumgang und einer entspannten, aufgeschlossenen Art im schon oftmals tot gesagten Retail-Geschäft tatsächlich etwas bewegen kann. Auch wir beklagen uns gelegentlich, dass das Einkaufserlebnis offline weit hinter dem äußerst bequemen, 24/7 verfügbaren Online-Shopping zurückbleibt. Das liegt aber auch daran, dass wir Einkaufen grundsätzlich hassen (auch wenn uns das niemand glaubt). Entweder findet sich nicht das, was man gerade sucht, oder es nerven andere Kunden, die glauben, sie wären alleine auf der Welt. Bei SNS, die für ihren Online-Store und die meisten Raffles eine ziemlich praktische App anbieten, deckt sich dagegen das virtuelle mit dem realen Image.

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Hierzu gehört auch, dass alle SNS-Stores eine eigene „Persönlichkeit“ besitzen. Denn obwohl die beiden SNS-Gründer Erik Fargerlind und Peter Jansson inzwischen über ein halbes Dutzend Stores betreiben – gerade hat ihr Tokio-Store eröffnet –  fühlt man sich dort nie wie bei einem anonymen Filialisten. Jeder Shop bietet andere Interior-Highlights und Details, die wie die eingebaute Fitness-Ecke am Venice Beach oder die gemütlichen Sofas in Stockholm das jeweilige Viertel im Store-Design abbilden. Auch im Berliner Store in Sichtweite der Torstraße gibt es einige dieser wunderbaren Hauptstadt-Referenzen zu entdecken. Und wer beim Bezahlen an der Kasse einmal nach oben schaut, entdeckt dort Erik und Peter, die auch hier alles im Blick haben. Big (Swedish) Brother is watching you!

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Auch die klare Aufteilung nach Styles und Brands gefällt uns hier. Wo andere, ebenfalls sehr namhafte Stores alles wild durcheinander anbieten oder den Charme eines Outlets ausstrahlen, die längst alles in ihr Online-Geschäft investieren, verfolgt man bei SNS ein durchdachtes Instore-Konzept. Hinten im Store befindet sich die Abteilung für die Ladies, die erfreulicherweise auf den üblichen Girly-Kram verzichtet. Nicht alle weiblichen Sneakerheads wollen schließlich in einer pinken Designhölle einkaufen. Stattdessen findet man hier schwedische Gemütlichkeit und eine angenehm unaufdringliche Beratung. Die Berliner SNS-Crew beweist dazu praktisch jeden Tag mit der eigenen Sneaker-Wahl, dass sie über ihren Job hinaus mit der Sneaker- und Streetwear-Kultur verbunden ist.

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Das gilt natürlich auch für die beiden SNS-Bosse Peter und Erik. Was haben die beiden in den letzten Jahren nicht alles auf die Beine gestellt! Ein wichtiger Teil waren dabei immer besondere Collabs und „SNS Exclusives“. Ihre Jordan-Liebe ist besonders groß, was sie zuletzt mit dem „Past Present Future“-Pack einmal mehr unter Beweis gestellt haben. Der AJ 1 Mid, der in diesem Drop für die große Vergangenheit von Jordan steht, hat sogar das Zeug zu einem echten Klassiker. Es wäre nicht der erste und sehr wahrscheinlich auch nicht der letzte „SNS Exclusive“, dem dies gelingt. Wir bereuen es immer noch, dass wir vor vielen Jahren bereits unseren New Balance 1500 aus dem RGB-Pack abgegeben haben. Aber solche Fehler macht vermutlich jeder.

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Ohne SNS wäre die Sneaker-Welt ganz bestimmt etwas ärmer und langweiliger. Über wie viele Shops lässt sich Vergleichbares noch sagen? Viele sind es nicht.

E. & M.

Ich halte ja eigentlich nichts von diesen Ranglisten zum Jahresende. Zum einen weil diese natürlich immer nur eine Momentaufnahme sind, zum anderen weil man das, was zuletzt passierte, fast automatisch mehr Beachtung schenkt. Insofern fallen auch auf Sneaker-Listen gerne einmal die etwas älteren Releases unter den Tisch. Januar 2019 fühlt sich schließlich schon ziemlich weit weg an. In diesem Jahr ist die Gefahr, dass ich einen wirklich wichtigen Sneaker vergessen könnte, aber eher gering. Das liegt ganz einfach daran, dass gefühlt doch sehr viel Mittelmaß den Markt regelrecht überschwemmte. Da stachen die wenigen Highlights umso deutlicher hervor. Außerdem habe ich mich bei meinen Käufen im Vergleich zu den letzten Jahren doch sehr zurückgehalten. Das war am Ende leichter als gedacht (wegen der bereits erwähnten Mittelmäßigkeit).

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Genug der Vorrede und Erklärungen. Machen wir es kurz! Der sacai x Nike LDWaffle ist mein Sneaker des Jahres (zusammen mit dem Vomero 5 SP um genau zu sein). Das überrascht nicht wirklich und ist zudem das Gegenteil von originell. Aber warum sollte ich statt der ehrlichen und nahe liegenden Wahl etwas anderes behaupten? Dabei spielt der Colorway eigentlich keine Rolle – ich mag sie irgendwie alle. Leider habe ich beim zweiten Drop kein Glück gehabt und so suche ich noch immer den weiß-grauen LDWaffle in meiner Größe (US7, EU40) zu einem halbwegs akzeptablen Preis. Über Hinweise bin ich natürlich immer dankbar!

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Mit dem Nike LDWaffle haben sacai gleich zwei wunderbare Designideen auf einer Silhouette zusammengeführt. Da wäre zunächst das Ausgangsmodell, der Daybreak, der als Retro derzeit ganz ohne Raffle-Stress erhältlich ist und der an die großen Running-Klassiker der 70er und 80er-Jahre erinnert. Diese Oldschool-Vibes wurden bei sacai zur Basis eines Fashion-Sneakers mit sehr viel Charakter und Wiedererkennungswert. Chitose Abe mag ihr kreatives Genie im Unterschied zu Virgil Abloh oder anderen Fashion-Lieblingen weniger offensiv vermarkten, dabei besteht für mich kein Zweifel, dass sie mir ihren Entwürfen und sacai-Kollektionen oft weit vor ihren bekannteren Kollegen liegt. Kein anderer Designer hat die oft zitierte „Doppelt hält besser“-Idee auf einem Sneaker jemals derart genial und konsequent umgesetzt. Zumindest fällt mir gerade niemand ein. Egal ob Swoosh, Midsole, Zunge oder Laces, am sacai x Nike LDWaffle ist fast alles in doppelter Ausführung vorhanden.

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Vor allem aber funktioniert dieser sacai-Ansatz erstaunlich gut auf einem eigentlich recht alten Modell. Hätte sich Abe einen neuen Tech-Sneaker ausgesucht, so wäre das Ergebnis ganz bestimmt weit weniger überraschend. Beim LDWaffle kommt dagegen für mich keine Langeweile auf. Obwohl die Collabo gefühlt jeden dritten Insta-Post belegt, habe ich mich an ihr noch lange nicht satt gesehen. Bei aller Begeisterung will ich aber nicht verschweigen, dass ich mir nach den ersten beiden Drops ein Ende herbeigewünscht hätte. Stattdessen gehen die LDWaffle-Releases 2020 in die unnötige Verlängerung. Hier begeht Nike den altbekannten Fehler, einen Hype solange ausquetschen zu wollen bis am Ende nichts mehr davon übrig ist.

Meiner Liebe zu diesem unfassbar schönen Sneaker wird aber selbst das nichts anhaben können. Ich weiß einfach, was ich an ihm habe. Und das ist eine ganze Menge. Danke Chitose Abe!


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Es gibt wohl nur wenige Sneaker, die jede Mode und jeden Trend einfach an sich vorüberziehen lassen. Bei New Balance und dort speziell meine Lieblingssilhouetten – der 997 und der 998 – ist dies aber ganz bestimmt der Fall. Ganz egal ob Performance-Running oder Ugly Sneaker gerade angesagt sind, die Qualitätsmodelle „Made in USA“ scheinen sich um dieses Hin und Her wenig zu kümmern. Stattdessen liefern sie beständig unglaublich starke Sneaker-Releases in ganz unterschiedlichen Colorways und Ausführungen ab. Insbesondere die J.Crew-Collabos von New Balance liebe ich einfach. Auf den US-Retailer, der seine ganz eigene Zielgruppe gefunden hat – zwischen erwachsen, modebewusst und Anti-Hype – ist ebenso wie auf New Balance eigentlich immer Verlass.

J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake

Und so kommt es, dass ich eine USA-Reise oder einen Besuch in London (in UK gibt es schließlich auch J.Crew) fast nie ohne einen kurzen J.Crew-Abstecher beende. Nicht immer werde ich dort auch wirklich fündig, aber sehr oft verlasse ich den Shop dann doch mit mehr Klamotten und weniger Geld. Als ich zuletzt in New York war, erschien gerade das „Wid Nature“-Pack in Zusammenarbeit mit New Balance. Die beiden 997er nahmen sich zwei berüchtigte und oft zu Unrecht dämonisierte Wildtiere zum Vorbild. Während der braune Colorway dem majestätischen Grizzlybär gewidmet war, sollte der olivgrüne 997 an die in vielen Wüstenregionen anzutreffende Klapperschlange erinnern.

J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake

Nun sei einmal dahingestellt, ob diese Assoziation tatsächlich so naheliegend ist. Ich hätte zumindest nicht unbedingt im ersten Moment an ein giftiges Reptil denken müssen. Eher erinnert der J.Crew x New Balance 997 „Rattlesnake“ mit seiner Tarn-Optik an das Outfit einer Armeeuniform. Pazifisten dürfen natürlich gerne bei der Klapperschlange bleiben. Auffällig an ihm sind vor allem die bräunlich eingefärbte Midsole, die gelben Farb-Highlights auf der Außensohle sowie das ebenfalls Army inspirierte Lining, das immerhin sofort an die texanische oder kalifornische Wüste erinnert. Gerade in der Kombination der verschiedenen Grün- und Brauntöne liegt die unauffällige Schönheit dieses 997, der sich vor den vielen anderen J.Crew-Collabos wirklich nicht verstecken muss. Wer sich fragt, welche Hose ich auf den Bildern trage, dem sei gesagt: Auch die ist von J.Crew (not sponsored, haha).

J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake

Für J.Crew geht damit die lange Zusammenarbeit in eine weitere Runde. Ich bekomme ehrlich gesagt die vielen starken „J.Crew exclusives“ der vergangenen fünf bis zehn Jahre nicht mehr alle zusammen, auch wenn einige davon hier im Sneakerzimmer stehen. Auch fällt es mir schwer, daraus einen eindeutigen Favoriten zu bestimmen. Ich mag den 998 „Pebble Blue“ und den „Midori Green“ sehr. Beim „Concrete Jungle“ ärgere ich mich immer noch, dass ich ihn damals nicht geholt habe. Auch der 997 „Butterscotch“ ist ein ziemlich feines Ding! Die Aufzählung zeigt nur, wie viel Qualität – oder im Slang der Hypebeast-Kids – wie viel „Heat“ J.Crew und New Balance bereits „gedroppt“ haben. So darf es gerne weitergehen! Wenn andere schmerzfrei 300 Euro für einen Yeezy ausgeben, „investiere“ ich doch 1000x lieber 220 Dollar in den nächsten J.Crew x New Balance.


J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake J.Crew x New Balance 997 Rattlesnake

Für Sneakerheads bietet Barcelona durchaus einige interessante Spots. Damit meinen wir aber nicht die üblichen Flagship-Stores oder Ramschläden mit gelegentlich zweifelhafter Ware. Und schon gar nicht die Fake-Balenciagas der Straßenverkäufer am Hafen. Die Sneaker-Kultur ist in dieser Stadt nicht bloß ein trendiges Accessoire, mit dem man sich bei einer Fashion Week gerne schmückt, sondern wird von den meisten mit echter Leidenschaft gelebt. Wir stellen Euch die aus unserer Sicht wichtigsten Stores in diesem Blogpost vor.

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

24 Kilates

Wer denkt beim Thema Sneakers und Barcelona nicht sofort an 24 Kilates? Uns geht es zumindest so, wobei wir offen zugeben, dass die Verdienste der 24 Kilates-Crew und ihr Einfluss auf die spanische Sneaker-Community nicht mit dem so unglaublich unspektakulären Store zusammenzubringen sind. Irgendwie erinnert uns diese Diskrepanz an Patta in Amsterdam, deren Store auch nur den Charme eines Outlets besitzt. Seit unserem ersten Besuch bei 24 Kilates vor fast 6 Jahren hat sich hier auch kaum etwas verändert. Nur an den Wänden sind wieder ein paar Collabos neu hinzugekommen. Tatsächlich sind viele der 24 Kilates-Designs wie die beiden „Sol y Sombra“ Diadora N9000 oder der New Balance 15000 „Miro“ längst echte Turnschuh-Klassiker. Und auch ihre neue Diadora-Collab hat das Zeug dazu. Immerhin bietet der kleine Store so einen Schnellkurs in Sneaker-History. Das Sortiment unterscheidet sich hingegen nicht von dem vergleichbarer Sneaker-Stores.

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

Sivasdescalzo SVD

Bei Sivasdescalzo (abgekürzt SVD) hält man eher wenig von Understatement und Zurückhaltung. Ihr perfekt durchgestylter Store bietet auf zwei Ebenen reichlich Platz für Streetwear, Sneakers und Fashion. Während im Untergeschoss unter anderem die jeweils neuen ACG-Kollektionen, Fashion-Brands wie Rick Owens und Y-3 sowie eine Tischtennisplatte (!) auf den Besucher warten, findet man oben ein kleines „Sneaker-Lab“ und meterlange Wände voll mit aktuellen Releases. Egal ob Nike, New Balance, Puma, adidas oder Asics – alle Top-Brands haben hier ihren eigenen Platz. Regelmäßig werden auch Pop-up-Installationen und besondere Release-Specials in das großzügige Shop-Konzept integriert. Dank ihrer Top-Accounts ist der SVD-Store auch eine „Pilgerstätte“ für alle Hypekids und Reseller, die sich dort für einen Instore-Raffle eintragen. Vielleicht läuft während Eures Barcelona-Trips auch gerade ein Raffle. Wir drücken Euch die Daumen!

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

LimitEDitions / LimitEDitions Wmns

Bislang waren LimitEDitions immer ein guter Ort, um ganz entspannt auch noch ältere und zum Teil limitierte Sneaker zu entdecken. Ohne Online-Shop und mit einer eher zurückhaltenden Social-Media-Präsenz bewegte sich der Store trotz seiner durchaus spannenden History und zahlreicher Collabs (zum Beispiel mit Diadora) unter dem „Radar“ vieler Sneakerheads. Bei unserem letzten Besuch fanden wir hier noch den ersten Undefeated x adidas UltraBoost, leider aber mit einem Aufschlag von 40 Euro zum damaligen Retail-Preis. Streng genommen teilt sich das LimitEDitions-Geschäft in drei unterschiedliche Shop-Konzepte auf. Direkt neben dem stets mit Schuhen und Kartons vollgestellten Stammsitz befindet sich ein weiterer Store, in dem vor allem die limitierten Drops (Yeezy, Off-White x Nike, FOG) erscheinen und vor dem sich daher an Samstagen regelmäßig die üblichen Verdächtigen einfinden. Einmal um die Ecke wartet auf die weiblichen Sneakerfans der LimitEDitions Wmns-Shop, von dem es in El Born auch noch einen Außenposten gibt (direkt gegenüber der Paradiso Bar).

Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona Sneakerstores Barcelona

Foot District

Ursprünglich kommen Foot District ähnlich wie SVD aus Madrid. In Barcelona haben sie vergangenes Jahr ihren ersten Store außerhalb der Hauptstadt eröffnet, der sich in einer kleinen Gasse im historischen Barri Gotic ziemlich gut versteckt (um die Ecke befindet sich der „Fake“ Supreme-Store). Wir wären jedenfalls fast an ihm vorbei gelaufen. Von außen eher unscheinbar bietet der Store dann aber doch eine feine Auswahl an Sneakers und Streetwear, die vor der Konkurrenz keinen Vergleich scheuen muss. Da man für die Instore-Releases eigene Kontingente zur Verfügung hat, findet man hier auch online längst ausverkaufte Modelle. Labels wie Stone Island, Kenzo, Aimé Leon Dore, CP Company, Opening Ceremony, Maharishi und die diversen NikeLab-Kollektionen findet man im Apparel-Bereich. Ein besonderes Feature des Shops ist seine begehbare Jordan-Box, die zum Kino wird, wenn man einen Schuh auf den dafür vorgesehenen Sockel platziert. Dann verdunkeln sich die Wände und es startet ein kleiner Clip mit Hintergrundinfos.

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Unseren Food- & Bar-Guide zu Barcelona findet Ihr hier.

If you want to be recognized with a bar concept in London, we wish you the best of luck! You sure will need it! The bar landscape of UK’s capital is probably the toughest of them all. Not even a city like New York can compete with London’s tremendous density and plurality of world-class bars. Just take a look at the familiar rankings and you will notice that this city is the cocktail capital of the world – hands down. That said, old Frankie’s famous lineif you can make it there, you can make it anywhere“ may also apply to London. Ryan Chetiyawardana, better known as “Mr. Lyan“ (we’ll stick to his alias for obvious reasons), has definitely made it here. Since 2013, when he opened his first venue “White Lyan“ in Hoxton, he quickly gained reputation for his new approach to mixology, cocktails and hospitality.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

His dedication and hard work got around within the industry. Only two years later he was awarded „International Bartender of the Year“ – in retrospect another milestone of his career as an entrepreneur and creative mastermind. At the time „Dandelyan“ was already making big waves. To those who aren’t that familiar with London’s cocktail scene, let us explain what Dandelyan was. At first glance it was obviously a hotel bar and on closer examination it was the best. Situated within the equally famous Sea Containers hotel (formerly Mondrian) with an unbeatable view of the Thames and Blackfriars Bridge, Mr. Lyan created a hotspot for mixologists and new bartending techniques, Thanks to his background in biology he never shied away from using uncommon natural ingredients or supposedly weird flavours.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness 13

Besides all the creativity, Dandelyan raised the bar with regard to the overall bar experience by getting rid of outdated elements, implementing modern techniques and focusing on the individual guest. In 2018 Dandelyan finally came in at first (!) place at the much acclaimed „World’s 50 Best Bars Awards“. But instead of resting on his laurels Mr. Lyan announced on the same day the closing of Dandelyan. Not many saw that coming! Honestly, we were baffled too. His idea was to turn the World’s best bar Dandeylan into a new place called „Lyaness“, honouring its famous predecessor while simultaneously starting a new chapter in mixology. And that’s exactly where we are right now!

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

During our last trip to London we booked a table for the „Fancy Tea“ at Lyaness. Of course, this place is more than a safe bet if you want to spend the evening with meticulously crafted cocktails in a truly elegant setting. At the weekends Lyaness’s house DJs take over, transforming the laid-back daytime vibes into a party scenery (we absolutely have to come back for this). In broad daylight Lyaness keeps the promise of a true beauty with its electric blue interior, the golden décor and the green marble bar that is a prominent leftover from Dandelyan. And while the bar could get very busy in the evening, we really loved the more relaxed atmosphere during tea time.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

The tea itself is a modern, playful update to a British tradition with different sweet and savoury treats like eclairs, little cakes, sausage rolls and devilled eggs. No English tea service would be complete without some tasty sandwiches. At Lyaness they make you poached salmon on dark rye bread and roast beef on focaccia. It’s delicious finger food that we enjoyed even more thanks to the sophisticated cocktail pairing (there’s also a boozeless tea service available). You will get more than a glimpse at Mr. Lyan’s award-winning, creative approach to bartending if you opt for the full Fancy Tea experience, which we highly recommend.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

The drink menu is based on different key ingredients, some quite uncommon for a cocktail bar (a similar approach can be found at Tayer+Elementary). Rather than building a drink around a spirit, Mr. Lyan and his team use house-made ingredients as a starting point for their often botanical creations. Motivated by a curiosity to find new flavours and to look beyond the obvious the results are truly unique and bold. Their „Jasmine Gimlet“ is an eye opener even for seasoned Gimlet connoisseurs. The jasmine treatment adds a softer, floral taste. It’s so good, you have to order at least one! Another drink from the Fancy Tea pairing is the rum based „Cold Brew Palmetto“ that plays with fruity and nutty flavours.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

While doing his research on different ingredients and new bartending techniques Mr. Lyan is also on the forefront of the sustainability movement in the industry (he should connect with chef Adam Handling). He is not only raising awareness for a more sustainable path, collaborations with acclaimed chefs and other bartenders are also very important to him. You can find another Mr. Lyan project in Shoreditch. The Cub restaurant is a partnership with zero-waste pioneer Doug McMaster. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Cub (another reason to come back to London). With Cub Mr. Lyan wants to „bring people together through great food and drink“. In a world like ours this might be the only solution to overcome prejudices and nationalism. People who share a good time will not hate each other. We get the point, Ryan! And we hope that you will succeed.


Finally we like to share Ryan’s thoughts on different aspects of his job, the status quo of the bar industry and his favourite London bars:

You were awarded „World’s best bartender“ and you owned the „World’s best bar“ with Dandelyan. After being „the world’s best“ what happens next?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: We were very thankful for all the awards and recognition, but our real goal is to try and affect positive change in the wider industry, so we have plenty of plans on the horizon to continue to push and see what we can challenge. Some of these are through the venues, and some are events, talks, collaborations, anything and everything we can do to expand the ‚boundaries‘ of what food, drink and hospitality can be about.

Do you sometimes think that other bars try to become copycats?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: The food and drink world is a tight industry, and as a result, there is lots of sharing of ideas, and this helps elevate the offering, and communicate it more effectively to the public so everything grows. However, at the moment, there does seem a propensity to default to what is established, comfortable, or classical – or what has been successful – and this can lead to some homogeneity, which I think is a shame. Sharing of ideas is natural, and wonderful, but it should always also be honest, personal and with integrity. People jumping on a bandwagon is inevitable in any industry, but we as stewards of our profession should call this out and encourage others do make something their own.

Sneakerzimmer meets MrLyan Lyaness

We came to Lyaness for your „Fancy Tea“ and we were blown away not only by the food and drinks but also by the overall atmosphere and hospitality. How important is the latter for a modern bar?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: Great to hear! To us, what is in the drink, or on the plate is secondary. We try and help people have a better time out, or to have a better or more effective gathering with their friends and family. Are drinks and dishes are tools for this, but so is the decor, the music, the lighting – everything we can effect. We want to focus on hospitality and helping people gather, and we’re very proud of having a team that cares about this aspect, rather than just simply drinks.

We’re pretty sure that many could benefit from your experience. Do you have any advice for other bartenders or bar owners (what to do or to avoid)?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: Don’t believe the hype, make it personal, keep learning, and find what you love and are interested in! And never be afraid to ask for help

London’s cocktail landscape is a one-of-kind. Which bars (besides your own) are your favourites?

Ryan/Mr. Lyan: I think London has the best food and drink in the world right now. From classical venues like The Connaught, The Savoy, Satan’s Whiskers, Happiness Forgets & Swift to eclectic modern venues like Three Sheets (and Bar Three), Tayer + Elementary, Coupette and Mint Gun Club, the scene is pretty unrivalled!

Thanks Ryan for your insights and of course for your time!

Manchmal bringt mich meine Sneaker-Leidenschaft in eine moralische Zwickmühle. Eigentlich hatte ich mir vorgenommen, die nächsten Off-White-Modelle als uninteressant zu ignorieren. Nicht weil ich etwas gegen Virgil Abloh oder gegen seine Nike-Collabs hätte – im Gegenteil ich liebe vor allem seinen Blazer und auch seinen Vapormax – sondern weil es langsam mal gut sein sollte mit dem, was Virgil und der Swoosh auf die Sneakerwelt loslassen. Als dann aber der Release des Zoom Terra Kiger 5 anstand, war mein guter Vorsatz schnell vergessen. Gerade was viele an dem Modell vermutlich zunächst abschreckend fanden – die Trail-Außensohle, der sehr technische Look – löste bei mir wieder den altbekannten Habenwollen-Reflex aus.

Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5

Von den drei Colorways gefiel mir der weiße Zoom Terra Kiger 5 auf Anhieb am besten. Aber auch der schwarz-pinke, inoffizielle Sneakerbob-Colorway kann sich durchaus sehen lassen (für knapp über Retail würde ich hier bei meiner Größe zuschlagen). Natürlich war ich gespannt auf das Laufgefühl, das die besondere Optik und Sohlenkonstruktion versprach. Und was soll ich sagen? Es ist zunächst etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig und schwer zu beschreiben, was hauptsächlich an den Trail-Elementen liegen dürfte. Aber schon nach wenigen Stunden würde ich den Zoom Terra Kiger 5 ohne zu zögern zu meinen absoluten Lieblingen zählen und damit zu jenen Schuhen, aus denen meine Füße am liebsten gar nicht mehr herauswollen. Denn jeder Sneakerhead weiß: Bequem ist nicht gleich bequem.

Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5

Wie der Off-White x Zoom Terra Kiger 5 dort abschneidet, wo man ihn eigentlich tragen soll – beim Lauf im Gelände und auf verschiedenen Belägen – habe ich bislang aber noch nicht ausgetestet. Ich begnüge mich stattdessen mit seiner rein modischen Seite und genieße seinen Komfort. Virgil Abloh mag eine Capsule Collection für Läufer herausgebracht haben, dennoch funktioniert sein Sneaker-Design einmal mehr auch aus der Lifestyle-Perspektive. An den typischen Virgil-Gimmicks ist schließlich auch der Zoom Terra Kiger 5 sofort als sein Baby zu identifizieren. Eigentlich genügt dafür allein schon der kleine orangene Patch am Swoosh. So und nicht anders sieht nun mal ein Off-White Sneaker aus.

Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5

Es ist bemerkenswert, welchen Weg Off-White als Brand in den letzten Jahren zurückgelegt hat – insbesondere außerhalb des Sneaker-Segments. Laut der Online-Plattform Lyst ist die Marke sogar an Luxus-Ikonen wie Gucci, Prada und Louis Vuitton längst vorbeigezogen. Es ist daher nur konsequent, dass Virgil nun bei Louis Vuitton unter Vertrag steht und dort seine Ideen umsetzen kann. All das bringt ihm nicht nur Anerkennung sondern auch Neid und sogar Spott ein. Nicht wenige meinen, Abloh sei lediglich ein cleverer Selbstvermarkter aber weder ein Designer und schon gar kein Genie. Ihm dürften diese Meinungen inzwischen egal sein. Mich interessiert weder der Buzz noch die Kritik an seiner Person. Ich freue mich über ein Paar Sneaker, das mich noch auf vielen Reisen und an vielen Tagen begleiten wird.

Die Fotos sind in London entstanden. Unseren aktuellen Shopping-Guide zur britischen Metropole findet Ihr hier. Interessiert Ihr Euch für unsere Empfehlungen, was Essen und Trinken angeht, so seid Ihr hier richtig.


Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Off-White Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5

It’s not a secret that we love to explore other cities and countries. Perhaps due to the daily struggle we sometimes forget about the great things and people of our hometown Cologne. We are actually annoyed about it. So, this new episode of „Sneakerzimmer meets“ delivers on a simple promise: Get to know your neighborhood and your neighbors. Technically speaking Daniel Gottschlich is not our neighbor, but he’s also from Cologne, born in Troisdorf, and one of Germany’s most ambitious and aspiring chefs. We’d like to introduce you Daniel’s highly innovative take on modern cuisine, his stylish fine dining restaurant „Ox & Klee“ and his imperturbable love for sneakers.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

We met Daniel – no surprise – at his restaurant in Cologne’s Rheinauhafen, which has become a symbol of modern urbanism thanks to its luxurious crane houses and sophisticated architecture. If you want to live in this part of Cologne with a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline and literally next to the Rhine, we recommend you have deep pockets. In all other cases you can still opt for a walk along the Rhine (comes free of charge) or have an outstanding dinner experience at „Ox & Klee“. We would bet any money that you won’t forget the evening at this two Michelin stars rated restaurant. According to the world’s most famous restaurant guide, two stars are the proof of an „excellent cuisine that is worth a detour“. Hence in case you didn’t consider Cologne for your travel plans as yet, you might now reconsider (and if you write us a message, we will send you some more recommendations).

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

Daniel is a really cool guy with a very interesting vita. After working as a sous-chef in a traditional Cologne Brauhaus he and his girlfriend opened the first „Ox & Klee“ restaurant in the bustling Neustadt-Süd neighborhood. That was in 2010 and by that time something like casual fine-dining didn’t broadly exist – at least in Cologne. Most of the gourmet spots felt rather pretentious and stiff in those days, not very appealing to us or a younger clientele in general. Daniel probably came to realize something similar as he and his team were beyond that old fashioned dining concept. After leaving the old location with the first Michelin star in 2016 they were poised for the next big step. And here we are: In an incredibly stylish, way bigger and likeable open space with an unique view of Cologne’s Marina and skyline.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

Despite a huge transformation with regard to location, style and ambience the completely new „Ox & Klee“ of course didn’t start from scratch. Together with his well-rehearsed crew Daniel, who is also a musician with heart and soul, continued on a very solid foundation. His impeccable reputation as a chef is the result of hard work, willingness to take risks and to think outside the box. In the meantime „Ox & Klee“ has been awarded with a second Michelin star (now for 2 years in a row). The Michelin buzz put the restaurant on a bigger culinary map and clearly raised the bar. However, many chefs admit that the pressure can be paralyzing sometimes. With every new menu you also have to create a new one-of-a-kind experience to keep up with expectations. It seems to us that up to now Daniel has found the right balance. He finds inspiration from music, culture and the world around him. He loves to travel like we do and to explore other cuisines.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

The dinner at „Ox & Klee“ follows a journey alongside different flavors from sour, bitter, salt and sweet to umami and fat (yes fat). Called „Experience Taste“ Daniel’s menu is an elaborate example of modern cuisine, thought-out, highly creative and a culinary eye opener. As a guest you are educated in seasonal ingredients, all kinds of preparation and truly unusual flavors. It’s such a fun thing, especially when there are no pretentious people around you. The different flavors of „Experience Taste“ are omnipresent. It starts with the amuse-bouche and ends with the Petit Four from Ox & Klee’s stellar patisserie. As a guest you only have to choose the number of courses. The current menu features pulpo, sablefish with goat cream, pig snout with asparagus and ox cheek in a creamy bourbon sauce. And did we mention their delicious house baked bread? It’s so addictive! The drinks from the „Bayleaf“ bar downstairs are nothing sort of first-class. We opted for their classic Negroni, celebrating 100 years of cocktail history. We also recommend the cocktail-pairing menu at „Bayleaf“.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee

When it comes to kicks, Daniel is a very loyal guy. His big love are Vans, Vans and Vans again. He can’t imagine himself wearing a different brand. If someone from Vans should happen to read this post, they should immediately talk to Daniel and sign him on as a brand ambassador. Instead of looking for fake influencers, the brands must finally support passionate and creative people again. We are also tired of all that flexing on social media. Daniel rocks his Vans in the restaurant, on stage and wherever he goes. This is cool, because it’s real! But as you can see his crew also likes Nike. We were surprised to find a Flyknit Trainer in the kitchen. But what’s the big deal? They simply wear what they like. It’s as easy as that! You should do the same. Don’t buy overpriced kicks to impress people you don’t know. Come to „Ox & Klee“ for a lasting experience. Collect memories not things! The good things are here.

Daniel Gottschlich Ox & Klee