THE PINNACLE GUIDE ANNOUNCES FIRST LIST OF PINNED BARS


The 1, 2 & 3 PIN Recognition System Marks the Next Wave in the Diversification of Industry Awards, With a Dynamic List of Bars from Across the Globe 

When they set out to design The Pinnacle Guide, the number one goal of its founders was to create a more inclusive drinks industry. With a background establishing wildly successful events and initiatives that have brought the best of cocktail culture to the world – who would be better qualified than Hannah Sharman-Cox, Siobhan Payne and Dan Dove? 

Today the trio of masterminds behind London Cocktail Week (Hannah and Siobhan) and Global Bartending (Dan Dove), unveil a list of bars meticulously evaluated, not only for their excellence in drinks and service, but for their philanthropy, sustainability and diversity too. Places well worth traveling for, yes, but bars that are approaching their craft responsibly, catering to the full range of today’s drinkers and also shaping cocktail culture in their communities. 

The Pinnacle Guide was created to ultimately provide the most wide-ranging, credible source of inspiration for discerning drinkers everywhere. Its intensive submission process asks bars to share details across six assessment modules, including sections on their drinks program, staff management and venue look and feel. Based on their submissions, a small number of entries made it through to an in-person evaluation process conducted by a global group of Anonymous Reviewers – industry experts, renowned mixologists, and discerning bar enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds – who received in-depth training from The Pinnacle Guide in order  to judge against a criteria, covering the key areas of a bar’s front of house operation – and ultimately how that bar made them ‘feel’.

The result is a dynamic list of establishments that showcases the true versatility of what it means to be a cocktail bar – from a plant-shop serving biodynamic cocktails in Kentucky, a neighbourhood bar in Oaxaca inspired by a great explorer, to a glamorous cocktail lounge in rural Scotland. The list is as follows: 

3 PIN BARS 

There are no 3 PIN bars yet

2 PIN BARS

ATLAS, Singapore

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, Phoenix, USA

Nipperkin, London, UK

Origin Bar, Shangri-La Singapore, Singapore

Panda & Sons, Edinburgh, UK

Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain

Pretty Decent, Louisville, USA

Selva, Oaxaca, Mexico

The American Bar at Gleneagles, Auchterarder, UK

The Spy Bar at Raffles London, UK

Thunderbolt, Los Angeles, USA

True Laurel, San Francisco, USA

1 PIN Bars

Artesian, London, UK

Ballroom by Barbary Coast, Singapore 

Blue Bar at The Berkeley, London, UK

Couch, Birmingham, UK

Cure, New Orleans, USA

El Primo Sanchez, Sydney, Australia

Kiki Lounge, Isle of Man, UK

KOL Mezcaleria, London, UK

Kwant Mayfair, London, UK

Little Rituals, Phoenix, USA

Magnus on Water, Maine, USA

Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia

Meteor, Minneapolis, USA

Milady’s, New York City, USA

Nightjar Shoreditch, London, UK

Passing Fancies, Birmingham, UK

Rattlebag, Belfast, UK

Roka Dubai, UAE

Sexy Fish, London, UK

Sexy Fish, Manchester UK

Side Hustle, London, UK

Swift Soho, London, UK

The Dead Rabbit, New York City, USA

The Guards Bar & Lounge at Raffles, London, UK

Velvet by Salvatore Calabrese, London, UK

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible response to the first round of applications for The Pinnacle Guide,” said co-founder, Dan Dove. “In revealing this first list, we have been able to realise our goal of celebrating the extraordinary range of cocktail bars the world has to offer – from tiny drinking dens to majestic hotel bars. We’re proud of our unique submissions process, which has allowed these deserving bars to shine – and we’re excited to shed light on many many more in the months and years to come.”  

The Pinnacle Guide opened applications in November 2023 and invited bars of any size, style or genre to enter. Hundreds of applications were received from seven markets, including the U.K., U.S., Australia, Dubai, Mexico, Singapore, and Spain. 

To be awarded a PIN, a bar must demonstrate ‘excellent’, ‘outstanding’ or ‘exceptional’ work on both sides of the bar. To gain a 3 PIN status – the highest accolade available – a bar must submit an Exceptional written application, and provide Exceptional service during the anonymous visits. In this first round of applications, The Pinnacle Guide saw bars that demonstrated 3 PIN status in one, but not both of these aspects, and so as yet – there is no bar anywhere in the world which has been awarded the coveted 3 PIN status.

Each bar on the shortlist showcases a commitment to sustainability, whether through minimizing water wastage, integrating indoor gardening systems, or successfully developing a zero waste cocktail programme. They have also all incorporated a minimum of two carefully considered non-alcoholic drinks into their menus – one of the requirements outlined in the application process. Additionally, The Pinnacle Guide is proud to recognize that over half of the shortlisted bars are owned, co-owned or led by women, or people from ethnic minorities within their own market.

The Pinnacle Guide seeks to elevate the bar industry, striving for progress rather than perfection. All bars, even if they did not receive a PIN, are given thoughtful and constructive feedback in order to improve their processes and are invited to reapply to The Pinnacle Guide with these suggestions in mind.

“The response we’ve received from bars in regards to our feedback, whether PINNED or not, has been extremely motivating,” says co-founders Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne. “Progress can only happen if we provide genuine, meaningful and reflective insight as to why these bars have or haven’t made it, and it’s been very promising to witness how applicants are taking this on board.” 

Applications for The Pinnacle Guide are always open, and there will be several announcements throughout the year to ensure as many bars as possible can gain recognition. For more information visit thepinnacleguide.com and follow on social media at thepinnacleguide

A full list of the PINNED bars and descriptions are available on thepinnacleguide.com and here

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