Artesian’s Alex Kratena launches own London bar

Alex Kratena, the mixologist at the helm of the Artesian during its four-year reign as the world’s best bar, is to open his own bar and restaurant in London.

Alex Kratena, of Artesian fame, is opening his own bar in London’s Old Street

As reported by Hot Dinners, Kratena will be partnering with Norwegian bartender Monica Berg, formerly of Pollen Street Social, on Tayēr + Elementary in Old Street.

“We want to achieve beauty by restraint, so there’s a mix of Scandi functionality, Japanese minimalism and a little bit of punk,” Kratena told Hot Dinners.

Upfront will be Elementary, an all-day venue serving coffee and light lunches during the day and seasonal cocktails, drinks on tap and sharing plates at night.

Behind Elementary will be the more high end Tayēr, named after the Spanish word for workshop, where action is centred around a U-shaped counter and the ever-changing menu will be chalked up on a blackboard.

Like the food, the cocktail list will be in a constant state of flux, as Kratena is keen to treat the space like a drinks development workshop.

Most of the spirits will be made in small batches of around 50 bottles exclusively for the bar by a range of producers, including Empirical Spirits in Copenhagen and Northumberland’s Hepple Gin.

Kratena will also be making beer with Partisan Brewery in Bermondsey and is looking to develop a seasonal kombucha range with Jarr Kombucha that will change throughout the year.

“I’m bored with cocktail bars that have one menu for several months. This will be a place where you go to find something new, something unexpected,” said Kratena, who is keen to stress that the bar isn’t going to be Artesian 2.0.

“This is a very different style of venue – very relaxed and informal,” he said. On the food front, TÁ TÁ Eatery, run by Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves, will be looking after the offering, serving their unique take on Portuguese and Chinese cuisine.

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