High volume doesn’t have to equal low quality, according to Scarfes head barman Greg Almeida. The former Pollen Street bar manager is only two months into his new job at the newly-formed Scarfes team at The Rosewood Hotel in London but he has big aspirations and insists his bar will pump out large numbers of consistent, five-star serves.
'It is very important for us to be able to get drinks out quickly and at the same level of quality,' Almeida told Imbibe. 'We have to be able to delivery quantity with quality.'
Scarfes Bar gets busy. Real busy. When the team set out to create their new menu they knew they had to be able to churn out exceptional drinks fast or risk losing business.
'We do a lot of volume but I believe it is possible to do quality in high volume. Just look at the Nomad bar in New York. It is one of the best bars in the world and it is achieving high volume.
'We prebatch to ensure speed of service and consistency,' Almeida says. 'We have our own lab to create the drinks.' It’s set up with everything the team might need, the head bartender says.
'95% of our ingredients are homemade. We look for interesting flavour profiles. It's very important to have a clear flavour profile. I go to some bars and there is too much going on. We are more straight to the point. All our cocktails have a unique look and we are trying to be as British as possible. I know we can achieve this and I want people to understand it can be done.'
As well as being able to achieve volume, Almeida wants Scarfes to be high energy. 'We want to be fun,' he says. 'It is quite an approachable bar. We want to be very easy in our approach.'
One approachable aspect is the fact you don’t need to enter the bar via an ornate, intimidating five-star lobby. 'You can enter the bar without going through the hotel. It has been designed so it looks stand-alone'.
'We are for every occasion,' Almeida adds. The Rosewood is a new hotel, when compared to the likes of The Savoy. 'It is much more contemporary,' he says. 'We want to give people good times and great drinks. We are all about five-star service in a fun, approachable way.'