PUTNEY cocktail bar Be At One reopened last night after a £200,000 refurbishment.
The High Street bar, which has been closed for just over a fortnight, celebrated a sexy new look with a flood of Pornstar Martinis, the company’s most popular cocktail.
Patrons stepped behind the bar for the special night and created their very own Pornstar Martini, under the helpful tutelage of the experienced bartending team.
Newly introduced low lighting that changes colour, retro classics on the speakers and a wider area to dance towards the back of the venue gave the bartenders the atmosphere and space to do their thing.
Full-time duty manager and barman Simon Cordeiro, 24, from Portugal, started in November last year and could not imagine working anywhere else.
“We create an atmosphere here. You can’t have a miserable day,” he said.
“We make sure you’re smiling – we’re always throwing ice around and having fun.”
His personal favourite cocktail is an Espresso Martini – he needs the coffee to keep his buzz.
Founder Rhys Oldfield, 44, said: “There’s not many jobs where you can stand at the end of the bar and you’re smiling, your bartenders are smiling and you can see every one of your customers smiling back. That’s why I love this industry.”
The father-of-three is proud of his company’s 19-year tenure, but is still partial to a traditional pint.
He said: “Be At One only does cocktails, and we do them well. If you want a beer, you’re better off at the pub!”
Operations director Andrew Stones has been at Be At One for seven years and at 48 is their oldest employee.
With 2,000 Pornstar Martinis sold each week across the 33 Be At One sites, he emphasised the importance of having full-time bartenders who are passionate about the craft.
He said: “We recruit personality because we can train the skills.”
His dedicated bar staff, who have at least nine weeks of training, have memorised the 150 cocktails on offer. Most drinks are specially developed in-house and are designed to be served within 60 seconds.
Mr Stones can identify any Be At One drink on sight from conception to creation. He fondly recognised the Jägerdriver perched on a table, a concoction of Jägermeister, Chambord, beetroot, blueberry and maple syrup, a welcome departure from Putney drinkers’ usual Jagerbombs.
The celebrations are far from over: next week is London Cocktail Week, which involves more than 250 venues across London and will see Be At One offer £5 Caipirinhas, before the reopening of their Monument site in two weeks.
The company is 20 years old next year, and will mark its anniversary with a refurbishment of their first bar, in Battersea Rise.
And with Christmas nearing the bar is already pushing their festive campaign.
Be At One are launching a new menu on October 17 – if you cannot wait that long, download their app for daily special offers.