Photograph by Rob Lawson
They're finally off – after eight years at the top, bartending team Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale have left Artesian bar shortly after it won Drinks International's World's Best Bar award for the fourth year running. The two will be working together on one or more as-yet undisclosed projects.
"It's been an incredible pleasure and privilege to lead Artesian for the past eight years," said Kratena of his departure, "and I will always be grateful to the Langham for its continued support and creative freedom we received. Even though we will miss our team, Simone and I are ready to pursue new challenges."
"Alex and Simone have trained a vibrant and passionate team who will continue their success and who have become the future stars of the bar and restaurant industry under their tutelage," said Duncan Palmer, MD of The Langham, London. "They have established a great legacy, and we look forward to the next phase of Artesian’s success and to making a further exciting announcement related to the social element at The Langham, London in due course."
It didn't take long, either – hot on the heels of the news of Kratena and Caporale's departure, The Langham has appointed a new head bartender in the form of Philip 'Pip' Hanson, who arrives after five years as beverage director at Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"I am very excited to be joining The Langham, London at this important juncture," says Hanson, who also has bartending experience at Tokyo's Tender Bar. "This is a time of change and evolution for the bar and the New Year will bring with it a very new style of drink-making. I am delighted to be able to define the next phase of Artesian's creative legacy."
For more info: artesian-bar.co.uk