Two of London’s foremost names have teamed up for a new venture. Stillwater Bar London, the new bar from Dan Priseman and Simon Webster, is about to open in the Big Smoke. Dan Priseman gives us the scoop.
As a member of the so-called Super League, there aren’t a shortage of hyped London bar openings. It’s got to be something very special indeed to get this barfly excited. For newbie on the block Stillwater, it’s the presence of Dan Priseman – Four Roses EU ambassador and previously co-owner of NOLA – and BarLifeUK co-owner Simon Webster, that’s got my lips tingling.
Free from bells and whistles – there’s no high science, secret doors and areas, or Alice in Wonderland aesthetics here – Stillwater has a clear philosophy. Keeping things honest and providing great drinks in a comfortable atmosphere. It’s the local drinking joint done right.
Stillwater Bar London: Not a dive bar
Located on Wandsworth Common, it’s a part of London packed with young professionals. “We had a completely different idea – one for a popup actually – but we realized the neighborhood was more grown up and affluent than we thought, so a dive bar wasn’t probably the best idea,” laughs Dan. Once they found a great site – which was previously home to an Indian restaurant – they moved past pop-up to permanent.
How did they come up with the name? “For love nor money, we couldn’t decide on a name,” continues Dan. “So we went to the pub, wrote down 4 topics, got drunk and we had to come up with as many words as possible related to those topics.” It was the theme “elements and motion” which they had the most luck with. Voila, Stillwater was born.
Classics, rarities, and one big twist
The drinks menu at Stillwater Bar London is a simple beast – one full of the classics and a few signature twists. The biggie is their Pina Colada Old Fashioned, made from spiced pineapple syrup, coconut rum, pineapple infused rum, and angostura bitters. As befits their no nonsense approach, don’t expect him to bust the budget on ornate glassware or avant-garde garnishes. Great drinks, great vibes and crucially – no gimmicks.
Dan has brought over most of his private booze collection for this venture to Stillwater Bar London, including many rare and unusual spirits, from 1930’s beers to 1940’s bourbons. Situated on the backbar next to a plague saying “Everything has its price”, it’s available for drinking but the plague doesn’t lie. To sample one of these rarities, you’ll have to state your price.
A touch of New Orleans
With only 45 covers, Stillwater Bar London promises an intimate, elegant vibe, one in which you can relax and stay until closing at 12.30am – which Dan claims is the latest licence in the neighborhood. Also promised: a “funky soundtrack”. There’s an outdoor area for summer too, for which they’re currently attempting to get a license. If all goes well, expect al fresco weekend brunches and an extra 30-35 covers.
For those with the munchies, there’s a food offering inspired by all things New Orleans and with both a well-equipped kitchen from its past role as an Indian restaurant and the leadership of Brent Mulligan from the sadly shuttered TuJacks – they’re ready to cook up a storm. Dan promises the “best fried chicken” in the city – no joke – alongside such NOLA-classics as fried beans and rice. “No matter what dish you select – you can have it as a main, starter or a side,” explains Dan. It’s a flexible way for everybody – regardless of what type of dinner you’re after – to enjoy the food offerings at Stillwater.
The opening is all set for 15th April. Is the Super League ready? The stripped-down, honest and crucially high-quality approach could really be what helps Stillwater to swim.
Stillwater Bar London
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Bildquelle: Photo via Pexels.