Savoy’s American Bar

Savoy’s American Bar

August 17, 2021

Savoy’s American Bar appoints first woman as head bartender in 95 years

The first time the Savoy hotel’s American Bar had a woman at the helm was in 1903, when Ada Coleman – whose creations included the classic cocktail the Hanky Panky – took the role. Now, almost a century later, Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar is to place a woman in charge once again when it reopens in the autumn for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Shannon Tebay will not only become the first woman in 95 years to hold the revered position but also the first American.

Tebay, who was previously the head bartender at Death & Co, an influential cocktail bar in Manhattan’s East Village, is in the process of rewriting the bar’s cocktail menu, which she said would draw on her pastry background in terms of flavour, colour and texture, but that she planned to honour the bar’s history, “while simultaneously incorporating contemporary techniques and innovation”.

She hopes to act as a transatlantic “bridge” between the New York and London mixology worlds. Under her leadership, she also wants visitors to the American Bar to have fun. “It is possible to have a good time and respect the traditions and awe of the past without fear of modernizing the culture. The menu is innovative and creative, but ultimately accessible to guests. I want to make it fun and fun. “