Over the course of the American Bar at the Savoy’s 128 year history, the institution has experienced its fair share of change. Now, another shift is in store for the London landmark. As first reported by Drinks International, Head Bartender Erik Lorincz will be leaving the Savoy to open his own bar in London.
Lorincz arrived in 2010 in time to relaunch the Savoy’s storied bar. That same year, the star tender won Diageo World Class. Seven years later, the Lorincz helmed American Bar took home the number one spot The World’s 50 Best Bars.
“The American Bar has always had a big name and reputation but through the hard work of the team we put it back on the map of the cocktail scene, as a destination rather than a tourist attraction,” Lorincz told Drinks International. “This is something that I can say we achieved and now the American Bar is famous for reasons beyond its history. I spent eight amazing years here and while I leave with sadness, I want to come back to visit with happiness. This bar has shaped me as a person and made me a better bartender. I will proudly own the title of Head Bartender of the American Bar forever. It’s a special title.”
That title, Head Bartender, is an impressive one. Ada Coleman, inventor of the Hanky Panky, was the first to hold the job. Harry Craddock, author of the milestone, Savoy Cocktail Book, served Churchill and Hemingway. In the 1980’s, Peter Dorelli took the reins and laid the seeds for the Cocktail Renaissance.
The legacy was upheld well. “The iconoclastic Lorincz made the role his own and put the word Savoy into Savoy,” Bar manager Declan McGurk wrote in a farewell social media post. “He made this role bigger than just our four walls and set a fine global example for the professional bartender at what has proved to be a period of great development in this ever growing trade.”
Details were vague about Lorincz’ new project. We do know that the independent endeavor has been in the works for three years and that it will be located in the triangle between Artesian, Connaught and Bar Termini.
The American Bar also must find a new gaffer.. “As for the search for a head bartender this person will not be seen as a replacement but someone who joins Erik. They shall not be a replication of the past but instead will be tasked of making the role their own,” said McGurk. “They also have not been selected so a search begins…”