This post can still be read here, but listen to the podcast at my all Drinks/Travel blog: A Lush Life Manual!
Was it the flair, the fans, the fame – a mixture of all three – that made our guest today watch Tom Cruise in Cocktail and say “I want to do that”? Yes…and Vincenzo Sibilia is wowing them in Chelsea’s only speakeasy, but you need to know the password to see him in action.
From Italy’s first capital city, Torino, to London wasn’t such a long journey. After a stint at catering college, Vincenzo knew the front of house suited him much more than the back of the kitchen. Mixing his natural flair for invention with his innate sense of creativity, our guest today helms Barts London with a combination of Italian bravado and international charm.
Nestled in one of the major arteries of Chelsea, Barts rules the scene with its tongue-in-cheek, irreverent speakeasy style and its superb cocktail creations. Trying to find it in one of the 1930’s built apartment buildings can make you thirsty enough, your Barts experience begins when you ring the bell. From that moment on, you’re in Vincenzo’s hands, as he takes you to Chicago and back in one drink.
The menu tells the story of the bar’s “founder,” Uncle Bart, in comic book style, and, since technically alcohol was illegal from 1920 – 1933, all the drinks sound like sodapop! Don’t worry, though your choice might be called “Uncle Jack’s Cola,” there’s definitely whiskey hiding in there somewhere. Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise’s character for those not well-versed in the film Cocktail) would be way proud of Vincenzo!