28 HONGKONG STREET REUNITES FRIENDS TO CELEBRATE SINGAPORE'S ACHIEVEMENT IN ASIA'S 50 BEST BARS AWARDS


SINGAPORE, 29 APRIL – Singapore’s ever-changing cocktail scene has never been better thanks to its diversity, excellence and innovation, a fact reinforced by the 7th edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, held in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday evening. Since its very first edition in 2016, an average of 10 Singapore bars appear on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list each year – which is no easy feat.

That’s in no small part thanks to the strength of the Singapore bar community. Despite the many difficulties the food and beverage industry has confronted during the pandemic, the Singapore bar community has been resilient, innovating, embracing new technologies, and facing these challenges together. Now, the easing of Covid-19 measures has sparked optimism and a sense of revival across the city.

To celebrate, 28 HongKong Street invited industry friends to watch the live stream reveal of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 on 28 April, Thursday. The crowd cheered as Head Bartender, Elliot Pascoe, and Floor Manager, Nalini (Lin) Balasundaram called in live from the award ceremony at Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, alongside some of the brightest stars of the region.

After two years of virtual screening, it feels just like old times when we were all together – determined to prove what we could do. It is moving how resilient our industry has been, in order to make this happen, but we never gave up hope that we would make it back stronger than ever, ” says Lin.

It was an emotional reunion which saw bartenders, bar owners and close friends reconnecting in anticipation and elation at what unfolded onscreen, with Singapore bars claiming 11 spots on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. With special awards such as The Roku Industry Icon awarded to Nutmeg & Clove’s Colin Chia and MO Bar achieving the Nikka Highest Climber award after jumping 28 places over last year, Singapore’s bar scene has never been better.

28 HongKong Street landed at #49 on this year’s list, making it the sixth consecutive year that the bar has made a showing on the list, a reflection of how despite celebrating its 10th birthday last year, the bar continues to shape Singapore’s drinks culture and further grow its reputation as a global institution of fine drinking.

The 28 team set out with the goal to bring something that was missing in Singapore – an institute dedicated entirely to fine drinking and education. And now, here we are today – still maintaining a position among many other fine contenders,” says Peart, “Everyone who comes through our doors is important to us, and we would like to thank you for all the support and love given to us.”

The night was about acknowledging the hard work our bar community has done to help make this industry what it is today and celebrating its achievements this year. A special mention goes out to Jigger & Pony, Singapore and COA, Hong Kong who were judged Asia’s Best Bar 2022 #2 and #1 respectively for the second consecutive year – breaking records with their outstanding performance and hospitality. From the 28 HongKong Street team, congratulations once again to all the winners who made it onto Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022.

The full list of winners can be found here.


About Asia’s 50 Best Bars

Asia’s 50 Best Bars is the first regional event of The World’s 50 Best Bars brand, created in 2016 with the purpose of showcasing the best and most innovative talent in the drinks industry in this region. The annual ranking is based on the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy, comprising the most knowledgeable and travelled members of the bar industry, drinks media and mixology experts from across Asia. Asia’s 50 Best Bar is owned and organised by William Reed, the group behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and its regional offshots.

Learn more by visiting their website at https://www.worlds50bestbars.com/

About 28 HongKong Street

Hidden behind an unassuming 1960’s shophouse façade, 28HKS is a word-of-mouth venue for people who might appreciate the kind of venue that we enjoy ourselves: relaxing at the beginning, growing a tad louder as the night goes on. The drinks focus’ is on artisanal spirits and American-style craft cocktails. The food is gussied up American comfort food made from scratch for sharing.

You can visit the venue from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am, Monday to Thursday, and 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, Friday to Saturday. You can follow the journey on Instagram.


PROOF CREATIVE CELEBRATES THE LAUNCH OF MARY MARY, A LUXURY HOTEL BAR LOCATED WITHIN THE TASMAN HOTEL, HOBART


HOBART, 10 FEBRUARY 2022 – The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart has finally swung open its doors and it is home to Hobart’s newest cocktail bar, Mary Mary. A seductive, sandstone-wrapped room lined with red ochre leather banquettes lit with the glow of brass table lamps. It is truly a captivating addition to the ever-growing Tasmanian bar industry.

The name stems from the heritage building’s origins; the former St Mary’s hospital constructed in 1847. It has now been reimagined as part of the Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart, and Parliament Square, located in the heart of the city and just a moment from the famous waterfront. You’ll find Mary Mary tucked away on the other side of the hotel with its discreet entrance off Salamanca Place. Through the doors, you will be greeted by a host that may guide you to a secluded table by one of the fireplaces or a seat at the padded leather bar.

The vision for the beverage program at Mary Mary was heavily influenced by its location and terroir.

Charlie Ainsbury, Senior Bar Consultant

Hobart’s food and drinks culture has long commanded global attention and attracts a discerning guest seeking a compelling experience, which offers us an impressive foundation to build upon.

We very much wanted to put Tasmania front and center when it came to the concept. It only made sense to support and celebrate the incredible artisans, producers, distillers, brewers and winemakers. As you read through the menu, you might be surprised to find classically inspired drinks but as you read further, you’ll see that every drink has been re-inspired and then re-constructed with a broad Tasmanian brushstroke.

Guests that arrive at the doors of Mary Mary will no doubt have undergone a journey to get there. For international visitors, even more so. Through its approach to cocktails and fine drinking, the team aim to satisfy and delight their guests for their imbibing needs whilst also presenting something uniquely Tasmanian. Drinks maintain a commitment to quality, seasonality and freshness as well as an unwavering ethos to approach the cocktail as if it was being made for the very first time in Tasmania.

The Signature Martini

Their Signature Martini is a mixture of a Tasmanian Gin of the moment married with Mancino Secco Vermouth and lifted with aromatized verjuice from Providence, Northern Tasmania.

Whisky Highball

The Whisky Highball represents this perfectly using a locally made Whisky and topped not with soda, but with a sparkling mead from a Derwent Valley brewer. Crowned with a locally foraged Wattle leaf, the drink is bracing and intriguingly complex.

The beverage offering at Mary Mary is guided by Bar Manager Ronán Kavanagh. A hospitality veteran with international and local experience and an impressive distilling background to boot. He is the guardian of the commanding back bar of spirits as well as the lead in sourcing ingredients across Tasmania from Braeburn apples of the Huon Valley to the locally foraged native succulent, pigface, found growing on the coastlines.

Bar Manager, Ronán Kavanagh

Mary Mary's Menu

In the near future, the bar will reveal The Coal Room. An old coal chute from the building’s original structure will be repurposed to house Mary Mary’s most exclusive, rare, and old spirits as well as oak barrels aging away locally made spirits sourced from neighbouring distilleries. Furthermore, guests can expect a regular schedule of programming to include intimate live music nights as well as the inaugural gathering of the Tasman Spirit Society; an inclusive group of spirits enthusiasts that come together to be led through a series of tastings hosted by distillers, winemakers or brewers.

Proof Creative’s involvement began in early 2018 implementing its renowned ’20 Pillar’ creative process. Led by Senior Bar Consultant, Charlie Ainsbury, work included the early concept development phase, bar functional layout, OS&E curation, sourcing through to spirits curation, drinks development, and pre-opening support and training.

The opening of Mary Mary is the latest in a long line of collaboration between Proof Creative and Marriott International.

“As the first and only representative of The Luxury Collection brand in Australia with the upcoming opening of the Tasman, we are proud to deepen our connection to the unique local character of Hobart with Mary Mary,” says Stephen Morahan, General Manager for The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart. “This venue will be a beacon to the world of fine drinking here in Tasmania, joining a collection of the world’s most notable hospitality experiences. Our vision is for Mary Mary to enchant both locals and travellers in the know, guided by the passion and expertise of Charlie and Proof Creative.”


ABOUT THE TASMAN, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, HOBART

Set on the crest off Hobart waterfront, the architecturally stunning and historically rich hotel is the first Luxury Collection Hotel in the Oceania Region. It hosts 152 luxury guest rooms and suites embracing a modern, elegant and sophisticated design whilst paying homage to two centuries of its heritage foundation. The Tasman Hotel embraces the character of its locale, integrating seamlessly with Hobart’s breathtaking scenery and culture.

For more information, please visit:
Marymarybar.com
@marymarybar


28 HONGKONG STREET ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM, HOT ON THE HEELS OF RENEWED GLOBAL ACCLAIM


SINGAPORE, 19 JANUARY 2021 – New faces join recently promoted (and much-loved) team members to take the reins of Proof & Company’s very own award-winning cocktail bar, 28 HongKong Street.

28 HongKong Street is the ‘little bar that could’ and Proof & Company’s spiritual home; it’s the clubhouse for the local bar industry and an icon of the pan-Asian bar world.  28 HongKong Street built its reputation through its commitment to elevated drinking experiences, quality ingredients, creativity, craft, music, food, and hospitality. But after 10 years of 28 HongKong Street, the bar is now most famous for its people. Some of Asia’s best bars and global brands are now represented by old teammates and the old rosters read like a ‘who’s who’ of the Southeast Asia bar industry.

That’s why the new leadership group — spanning across the drinks, food, and operation of the bar — is so important. They are embarking on a period of transition, a period that will give 28 HongKong Street a new outlook for its next 10 years.

28 HongKong Street

28 HongKong Street’s new General Manager Chris Peart is excited about this team and the next chapter of 28 HongKong Street. Hailing from Australia, Chris comes with loads of small bar experience running some of Brisbane, Melbourne and Shanghai’s most-loved cocktail destinations. But for the last 10 years, he immersed himself in the world of luxury hotel bars across China, notably opening EDITION Shanghai and Rosewood Beijing.

Chris Peart, General Manager of 28 HongKong Street

I am grateful for having this amazing opportunity to join the 28 HongKong Street and Proof & Company team. I have admired Singapore from afar and I look forward to being a part of its community. Furthermore, I am honoured to continue the work that has been done over the past 10 years serving up tasty drinks matched with world class hospitality.

Nalini Balasundaram (Lin) has been running around on the floor at 28 HongKong Street, hosting guests and serving up cocktails for over four years. Singaporean and a long-time part of the collective, she knows the venue, loves the bar, the bar loves her and she’s excited about her newly defined role.

Nalini Balasundaram (Lin), Floor Manager of 28 HongKong Street

28 HongKong Street is an institution of fine drinking and I’m honoured to be a part of something so amazing, to be able to share our creativity with our guests and give them an experience they’ll never forget. There’s a reason why 28 HongKong Street has long been one of the best bars in the world.

A respected and well-known figure of the Australian bar scene, Elliot Pascoe has plied his trade at some of his country’s most well-known bars such as The Baxter Inn, Bulletin Place and Death & Taxes. Known for his high energy approach and dedication to learning and creativity, Pascoe looks forward to working with the bar team on new drinks and getting to know the Asian bar scene.

Elliot Pascoe, Head Bartender of 28 HongKong Street

28 HongKong Street is a doyenne of hospitality and a bulkhead of good drinking. I am looking forward in contributing in some small capacity to a grand legacy. It is a privilege to serve, I look forward to doing heaps mad stuff into the future and giving back to a community that gives us so much, so richly.

Perhaps as famous as the drinks or the music at 28 HongKong Street is the food, and that is in no small part thanks to Head Chef, Melvin Tan. He is integral to the success of the business and making sure the guests are fed, and the food is at the high standard we expect. Continuing his calm stewardship of the kitchen, Tan now takes on greater authority in the venue.

Melvin Tan, Head Chef of 28 HongKong Street

From finding the right combination of ingredients, experimenting with proportions to finally making it look and taste great, everything we put out goes through the thought processes of many in our team,” says Tan. “We’re a tight bunch who truly love the bar life and appreciate the seriousness behind the complexities of our craft. It’s not work anymore, we love living it.

Lukas Kaufman has been a rock of the 28 HongKong Street bar team for more than four years now, earning the respect and admiration of the team and the Singapore bar industry. In the newly minted role of Operations Manager, he will report to the GM and take full responsibility for making sure the venue ‘runs’, while continuing in his role of Senior Bartender in a part time capacity.

Lukas Kaufman, Operations Manager of 28 HongKong Street

I can’t be more proud and honoured to be part of 28 HongKong Street for several years. I’m super excited to work with our new and talented additions to the 28 HongKong Street family. We as a team are looking forward to new horizons and experiences — and bringing them to all our guests, patrons, friends and peers.

While it’s important to introduce and encourage the new wave of leaders at 28 HongKong Street, it’s important to acknowledge the legacy that has been left behind by the previous team and give shout-outs to the existing bar team. Justin Pallack and Ronan Keilthy specifically deserve mention for their long dedicated service. They both left 28 better than when they arrived which is our test of success.

Furthermore, 28 has a fantastic team that ‘do the thing’ on a nightly basis. Long-serving bartenders Naz, Chris, and on the floor Guru, deserve special mention for their commitment and positivity.

28 HongKong Street and its team have some exciting things planned for 2022: a continued celebration of its 10 years of service, a new menu concept, a cocktail community program, and more. The team is full of enthusiasm and is looking forward to adding to 28 HongKong Street’s reputation as a hub of appreciation and excellence in the drinking experience.

“There’s something about this place that leaves you wanting more, to keep you coming back for more,” says Lin. “The pandemic may have put a little damper on the F&B industry but this only proves that nothing will stop us from bringing new and exciting experiences to the table and showing people a good time as always.”


About 28 HongKong Street

Hidden behind an unassuming 1960’s shophouse façade, 28HKS is a word-of-mouth venue for people who might appreciate the kind of venue that we enjoy ourselves: relaxing at the beginning, growing a tad louder as the night goes on. The drinks focus’ is on artisanal spirits and American-style craft cocktails. The food is gussied up American comfort food made from scratch for sharing.

You can visit the venue from 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Monday to Saturday. You can follow the journey on Instagram.


PROOF CREATIVE CELEBRATES THE RE-OPENING OF THE GLAMOUROUS BKK SOCIAL CLUB AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOK


BANGKOK, 16 DEC 2021 – The Land of a Thousand Smiles had another reason to beam as the stunning Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River reopens its doors to the public this month. Originally scheduled to launch in December 2020, the project has been hindered by strict Covid restrictions. Catapulting itself onto the global stage by entering at number 90 in the World’s 50 Best 2021, is the BKK Social Club, a glamourous hotel bar that speaks to Buenos Aires during its golden age of opulence, through the lens of energetic modern-day Bangkok.

Conceptualised in collaboration with Proof Creative and the renowned international Design Studio AvroKO, BKK Social Club offers Latin American-inspired drinking and a sense of escapism in the sanctuary of peace and quiet in this bustling hub of artistic Bangkok.

Earthy hues, plush fabrics and a feature vaulted & mirrored backbar at BKK Social Club

The lush interior was conceived by the award-winning team at AvroKO and centres around a stunning main room inspired by the Belle Epoque era, a dramatic and imposing mirrored backbar display and inviting velvet banquette seating for guests to enjoy. Flanking the main bar on either side are two semi-outdoor spaces; one, a haven for cigar aficionados, whilst the second is an ideal space for communal get-togethers.

The arrival experience at BKK Social Club brings you straight from the centre of Bangkok into the tranquil heart of the hotel. Large opaque glass doors open and transport you back to a snapshot of Argentinian history, while each team member engages you with a warm welcome. Plant-filled chandeliers, backrests that stretch to the ceiling, cigar rituals and a view of the hotel’s infinity pools entice guests to explore the venue at their own pace and allow for multiple interactions.

The stunning entrance atrium at BKK Social Club

The bar program at BKK Social Club is led by the innovative Beverage Manager Philip Bischoff, a renowned bartender hailing from Germany, as an industry trailblazer he has worked in some of the world’s most awarded hotel bars, including Manhattan Bar, Singapore, and the Amano Hotel in Berlin. Philip’s has a secondary role as Beverage Ambassador for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts APAC, providing concept direction, mixology training & menu guidance to the hotels and their teams.

Guests can expect one of Bangkok’s strongest bar teams under the tutelage of Bischoff. Drinks names and direction at BKK Social Club take their cues from the People, Places and Parties throughout the rich cultural history of Bueno Aires.

Bischoff says, ” Bangkok is putting its stamp on the world cocktail map, and I want to be right at the heart of it all – at the forefront of global mixology, innovation and craft.’

The cocktails showcase his love of traveling through their use of endemic Thai flavours; paired with artisanal spirits from throughout South America, focusing on Argentinian producers. Cocktails will be backed with an extensive offering of rare and much sought-after craft spirits, alongside a solid collection of vintage champagne.

The charismatic Philip Bischoff leading the team from the front

The Pistachio Margarita was first crafted by Philip for a cocktail event in Athens and has been one of his signature serves ever since. A vibrant and citrus-forward twist on a classic, with Arquitecto Tequila as the hero spirit and bolstered with zesty Thai lime, earthy pistachio orgeat and a tart, aromatic raspberry salt.

The Evita Cocktail is a homage to the ‘Spiritual Leader of the Nation” Eva Perón, who helped shape the country through her continuous charitable and noble works. A spirituous blend of Plantation Pineapple Stiggin’s Fancy Rum, Italian Bitters, endemic citrus and a hit of spice coming from cinnamon and bay leaf. This drink has the heart of a Negroni, but the soul of a sour.

The Pistachio Margarita

The Evita Cocktail

“The lives of people in Buenos Aires and Bangkok revolve around social gatherings,” says Philip; this space will be no different with bespoke communal cocktails coming in bottle sizes that scale up to magnum size and ensure a constant stream of the local high society from the city and international taste hunters.

The food offering at BKK Social Club shines a light on the culinary traditions of these two gastronomic capitals. An elevated snack menu that offers guests a glimpse of the strength in depth of the hotel’s neighbouring kitchens led by executive chef Andrea Accordi. A ‘must-try’ is the scallop & yellowtail ceviche, combining the traditional Leche De Tigre of South America with pan Asian flavours of Soursop and Lotus Root.

The opening of the new hotel and its expansive food and beverage offerings has been led by General Manager Lubosh Barta, alongside Director of Food and Beverage Vishal Sanadhya and Hotel Manager Jasjit Assi.

Director of Food and Beverage, Vishal Sanadhya

“We are excited about the reopening of BKK Social Club. It has been an incredibly difficult few years for the industry, and we are thrilled to see life slowly return to normalcy, and are looking forward to welcoming guests from around the world to the bar. We hope for the bar to be a welcomed addition to the growing Bangkok cocktail scene and to join the ranks of the best in the world.”

BKK Social Club is a project that first kicked off between the Proof Creative team and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in early 2019 and further strengthens the collaborative ties between the teams, stretching back to the opening of Manhattan Bar in 2014 and includes the World’s Top 50 Bars Charles. H in Seoul and Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur and ARGO in Hong Kong. BKK Social Club developmental work was led by Senior Bar Consultant Bobby Carey, with support from Creative Director Jason Williams.

Says Carey, “Four Seasons have consistently pushed to create innovative bars, that are local institutions of the second golden age of fine drinking; and I have no doubt that BKK Social Club will continue in that tradition. Collaborating with Lubosh, Vishal, JJ, Philip and the team has been a great experience and I wish them all the best in this iconic Four Seasons launch.”

To keep up to date with all the current news from the bar,  point your cursor towards  https://www.fourseasons.com/bangkok/dining/lounges/bkk-social-club/ or find them on their social spaces on both on Instagram and Facebook @bkksocialclub.


ABOUT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOK AT CHAO PHRAYA RIVER
Make your way to Bangkok’s coveted riverside and discover our urban sanctuary in the city’s creative district. Surrounded by galleries, boutiques, restaurants and cafés, our Hotel is a hub of energy and style. Take in sweeping river views from our outdoor lap and infinity pools, savor inventive cuisine in our collection of restaurants, find solace in one of our green courtyards or simply relax in one of our 299 guest rooms.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Dan Schacter | dan.schacter@fourseasons.com

ABOUT AVROKO
AvroKO has established a new paradigm in the hospitality industry, encompassing a multitude of disciplines while creating thoughtful and engaging architecture, brands, products, and environments. Since its launch in 2001, AvroKO has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative design firms in the field, due in large part to the group’s integrated design process and focus on creating emotionally connected experiences. In the past decade, the firm has grown to four offices (New York City, Bangkok, San Francisco, and London) working on projects across 22 countries in 32 cities.

For media inquiries, please contact the Bangkok office:
info@avroko.com | +66 2 108 1777


PROOF & COMPANY UNVEILS NEW CONSULTANCY BRAND, ‘PROOF CREATIVE’ AND ITS AWARD WINNING ‘20 PILLAR PLAN’


SINGAPORE, 22 NOVEMBER 2021 – Proof Creative, the globally acclaimed consultancy arm of Proof & Company, is launching its new brand and identity, and for the first time publicising its 20 Pillar Plan approach to launching world class bars. Developed over 10 years while creating some of Asia’s most famous drinking destinations, this creative framework has proven to be both useful and successful when developing and opening bar concepts. Now, in a spirit of collaboration, Proof Creative is sharing this with the global bar industry. This ongoing advocacy and knowledge-sharing represent what Proof & Company stands for: adding value to our partners, providing expertise to our bar communities, and building trust as Asia Pacific’s leading independent spirit’s company.

The seeds of Proof Creative were planted 10 years ago when co-founders Spencer Forhart and Paul Gabie created Singapore bar 28 HongKong Street. The bar’s success spurred the creation of independent spirits company Proof & Company, which quickly became renowned and respected for providing ad hoc, organic advice to bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, and individual bartenders. Proof Creative was born in 2014. During the development of Manhattan at The Regent Hotel Singapore, a dedicated team of Spirits Evangelists was recruited as in-house spirits experts, bartenders and beverage creatives. In 2015, Jason Williams took the reins to lead the team through to its current configuration.

28 HongKong Street

Jason Williams, Creative Director at Proof & Company

During the development of Manhattan, a ‘Golden Thread’ mentality was adopted: a holistic approach to working on bar programs, it is an ethos and guiding principle that is still at the core of Proof Creative’s work today. Proof Creative recognised that the guest experience and a bar’s concept are not defined by the drink alone and purposeful, creative thought must be put into all elements of the bar experience to get the best outcome. This was the origin of the 20 Pillar Plan.

There is no scientific formula or algorithm to create a world class bar, but Proof Creative has found their 20 Pillar Plan approach to be the best way to develop venues and guide the allocation of time and resources. This framework has been applied to bars around the world, and encompasses concept, drinks, food, team, service, technology, brand, ecology, ambiance, collateral, layout, interior design and more. Proof Creative uses this framework to weave the ‘Golden Thread’ each aspect of the guest experience.

Union, The Opposite House, Beijing

Although Proof Creative is known for large-scale, luxury hotel openings, its team of consultants across Asia Pacific continue to work with small and medium-sized independent operators on a complimentary ad hoc basis. More than 100 projects of all shapes and sizes have been completed, and Proof Creative’s mission remains the same: to assist bar operators with their concept, their drinks, their team and anything in between.

Below is a small selection of some of the more high-profile projects opened by Proof Creative through the years, with the 20 Pillar Plan framework.

Manhattan, The Regent Singapore (2014)

A 1920s and 1930s-inspired grand New York hotel lobby bar. An immersive, albeit fantasised New York bar experience. The cocktails, food and menus are all themed around New York, situated in a glamorous interior design that evokes The Great Gatsby. With a world first in-venue barrel rickhouse holding the worlds largest cocktail ageing room, Manhattan is one of Proof Creative’s first substantial projects, and the start of a long collaboration between Proof and its owners.

The Pontiac, Hong Kong (2015)

One of the most fun, most inclusive and socially aware bars in Asia. A rock and roll party bar, with a neighbourhood vibe and well-crafted drinks, The Pontiac is a case study of curating an experience, not just a drink. Here, attention to detail was given to the music, the team and the brand. The Pontiac is one of the first projects to come from the Hong Kong-based Proof Creative team.

ATLAS, Singapore (2016)

Probably the most photographed bar in recent years, this is truly a one of a kind. ATLAS, with its dramatic interiors and vast selection of spirits is truly a grand European lobby bar. ATLAS is a celebration of the culinary, beverage and social arts of the art deco era. Proof Creative worked closely with the owners on bringing this family business and legacy to life.

Bar Trigona, Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur (2017)

A contemporary, luxury hotel bar with a golden thread of sustainability and hyper-locality throughout the food, beverage and entire program. Twice awarded Most Sustainable Bar in Asia, the team have a bee hive adoption program, and menus that can be planted to grow leaf vegetables. Proof Creative conceptualised the bar, named the venue and everything in between.

MO Bar, Mandarin Oriental Singapore (2018)

Overlooking Marina Bay, MO Bar has some of the best hospitality in the world — and they have the awards to prove it. The cocktail list is a whimsical yet sophisticated journey of collaboration around Asia, focused on using modern techniques to incorporate local ingredients. Proof Creative worked on this existing global brand but created something unique for South East Asia.

ARGO, Four Seasons Hong Kong (2021)

A luxurious, contemporary neo-classical hotel bar that explores and celebrates the ‘Future of Luxury Drinking’ and contains the ‘World’s Most Innovative Spirits List’. ARGO is a boundary-pushing yet glamorous bar experience that has opened to much acclaim. A long lead time project for Proof Creative, ARGO was an opportunity to create something special with long-term partners, Four Seasons.

A list of Proof Creative’s recent accolades

  • World’s 50 Best Bars 2020 × 4
  • Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 × 8
  • World’s Best Cocktail List Winner 2020
  • Sustainable Bar Award, Asia Winner, 2020
  • Art of Hospitality Award, Asia Winner, 2020
  • International Cocktail Bar of the Year Winner, 2014, 2019
  • International Hotel Bar of the Year Winner, 2019
  • Worlds Best Spirits Selection, 2019
  • World’s Best Bar Finalist, 2019 x 2
  • Best International Bar Team, 2015

Bobby Carey, Senior Bar Consultant, SEA

Charlie Ainsbury, Senior Bar Consultant, ANZ

Tom Egerton, Senior Creative Consultant, Greater China

Chris Lowder, Senior Bar Consultant

Ethan Liu, Senior Bar Consultant

Mimi Lorandova, Senior Bar Consultant

At the heart of our award-winning consultancy is the talented individuals that have done the work: the concept development, the cocktail lists, the training, putting together playlists, designing uniforms, and putting together P&Ls. We’ve been fortunate to have some amazing people work with us.

In the spirit of collaboration, you can now read and adopt the 20 Pillar Plan approach for yourself — click here to view it in full.

For further discussion, advice, or inquiries regarding what we do, send Proof Creative an email at proofcreative@proofandcompany.com



FROM INNOVATOR TO INSTITUTION - TEN YEARS OF 28 HONGKONG STREET


SINGAPORE, 1 November 2021 – 28 HongKong Street, Proof & Company’s very own award-winning cocktail bar, turned 10 years old on October 31 2021. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at where we came from and what’s been achieved — and launching a short film titled “You Had To Be Here“.

28 HongKong Street

When 28 HongKong Street co-founders Spencer Forhart, Paul Gabie and Snehal Patel arrived in Singapore they brought with them a love for cocktails, spirits, and the bartending craft. They were enthusiasts of what would soon be called the second golden age of fine drinking. In 2011, this golden age had spread around the world, but a craft approach to cocktails in Singapore was still largely in its infancy.  Save for a few bright spots, the bar scene in the city was a far cry from what was happening in London, Melbourne, and San Francisco.  The trio missed the bar experiences they had at New York cocktail bars like Milk & Honey, Employees Only and Angel’s Share, so they decided to bring to Singapore a little of what they loved from back home.  28 HongKong Street opened on Halloween 2011.

It was an instant success. It took Michael Callahan’s, founding General Manager, experience and our founders’ vision to identify raw local talent and raise their skills to a world-class level.

Michael Callahan, Founding General Manager of 28 HongKong Street

“The novel idea was to create something unique in Singapore and to bring that to the world, rather than bringing something from the world to Singapore, as was the fashion at the time.  To that end, we took international standards, but employed locals and empowered them to make this outlet their story.”

28 HongKong Street pioneered an unwavering commitment to ingredients, preparation, and technique. The bar put in place one of the country’s first high-quality ‘nice ice’ programs, strict use of fresh ingredients, and a culinary approach to making syrups, infusions and more. Many of these principles are the norm these days but weren’t at the time. 28 HongKong Street created the demand for cocktail block ice where there was none before; today it is widely available in Singapore.

Paper Tiger; Alipus Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, dry sherry, Gran Classico Bitter

Another important 28 HongKong Street innovation was to introduce out-of-market craft spirits to Singapore.  The enthusiasm for alternative small batch, artisanal and craft brands was pivotal in marking 28 HongKong Street as a unique experience, enhancing the cocktail offering and cementing the bar’s reputation for creating cocktails with nuance. The demand for these brands also provided the impetus to launch Proof & Company, Asia Pacific’s leading independent spirits company, and subsequent endeavors such as Proof Creative, True Believers, and ecoSPIRITS.

A wall of spirits from around the world

It wasn’t long before the global bar community took notice.  In 2012, 28 HongKong Street’s first full year in operation, the bar made its debut at number 10 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list — quite an accomplishment for a newcomer, in a city about as far away from the traditional cocktail world as one could get.  Not only would 28 HongKong Street stay on that list for seven straight years, but it would soon find a lot of company from other bars across Asia.  Other acknowledgements followed: coveted awards at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2014 and 2015, for Best International Bar and Best International Bar Team respectively.  For a little Singapore cocktail bar to win these awards was a big deal.

A trophy case displays awards and gifts received through the years.

Tales of the Cocktail, Spirited Awards on Display

But it isn’t the 28 HongKong Street way to rest on one’s laurels. The bar adopted an identity and a set of values, created by a remarkable roll call of people across the years who built and evolved 28 HongKong Street. Just look to the many alumni who have gone on to achieve greatness in the industry beyond the bar’s unmarked door.  There must be some magic within the walls.

A proud moment for 28HKS bar captain Lukas Kaufmann

As famed bartender, Steve Schneider recently said: “You know, anyone can be hot for a year or two. But these folks at 28 have done it year in and year out for the last 10 years.”

Serve the community long enough, and a bar can cross the threshold from innovator to institution.  Today it is clear that 28 HongKong Street has crossed that threshold. Born to celebrate the institutions its founders admired, and through its innovations, its ability to inspire others and its longevity, 28 HongKong Street is an institution of fine drinking in Singapore. We’re celebrating a wonderful decade of 28 HongKong Street with this short film here. It is a visual poem and a love letter to 28 HongKong Street that not only commemorates the last 10 years but builds anticipation for what comes next.

The era of Covid remains a challenge for bars around the world, but 28 HongKong Street is looking forward with excitement and ambition. With a team of inspired talent, a desire to provide memorable drinking experiences and a pipeline of creative initiatives ahead, the future looks good, and it looks delicious.


About 28 HongKong Street

Hidden behind an unassuming 1960’s shophouse façade, 28HKS is a word-of-mouth venue for people who might appreciate the kind of venue that we enjoy ourselves: relaxing at the beginning, growing a tad louder as the night goes on. The drinks focus’ is on artisanal spirits and American-style craft cocktails. The food is gussied up American comfort food made from scratch for sharing.

You can visit the venue from 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Monday to Saturday. You can follow the journey on Instagram.


FOUR SEASONS HONG KONG CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF ARGO, A PROOF CREATIVE COLLABORATION


HONG KONG, September 2021 – ARGO, the highly anticipated modern cocktail bar at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has opened its doors to a warm reception from both guests and media. The former site of Blue Bar has undergone a comprehensive transformation into a world-class destination. The first few weeks of operations have seen both long lines for entry and Time Out Magazine naming ARGO as the world’s coolest bar on its global list of new openings in 2021.

A visually arresting back bar showcases ARGO’s collection of innovative spirits.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

In a city that prides itself on elevated food and beverage, ARGO appears to set to become one of the year’s most captivating openings. The warm reception to ARGO’s opening is welcome news as the global hospitality community manages through another year of disruption and difficulty.

ARGO has been one of the Proof Creative’s longest-running projects, with work starting in early 2019 and continuing through several delays brought on by the global pandemic. The assignment was to help Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong create a destination bar befitting a property already renowned for its eight Michelin stars (Lung King Heen, 3 Stars, Caprice, 3 Stars, Sushi Saito, 2 Stars). Working closely with Lorenzo Antinori, Four Seasons Asia Pacific Beverage Ambassador and the driving force behind ARGO, a central concept of innovation and exploration of ingredients and spirits was developed to give ARGO a unique point of view as it takes its place amongst a strong cohort of global hotel bars.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

The Conservatory, a semi-private room with a view of Victoria Harbour at ARGO.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

Lorenzo Antinori, Beverage Ambassador Four Seasons Asia Pacific

“ARGO is a cocktail bar that explores the modern world, and how it is shaping the way we drink and think about spirits. This is a space where we celebrate the innovators of our industry and people who challenge the status quo,” notes Antinori, “ARGO has been shaped by the global impacts of the last few years, and reflects the need and desire for innovation in the face of challenge.”

Antinori is no stranger to world-class cocktails bars, having previously been the Head Bartender at Dandelyan in London when it was ranked the World’s Best Bar by World’s 50 Best Bars and  Charles H. at Four Seasons Seoul to its position of Best Bar in Korea. While developing ARGO, Antinori focused his attention on the bar program at Caprice and bringing his brand of service and attention to detail to elevating the drinks offering with vintage spirits, cocktails inspired by French seasonality and famously generous servings of exquisite cheeses. This work paid off when Caprice entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2019 and rising rapidly to number 10 in 2020, making Caprice one of the few venues to feature on both the Bars and Restaurants list of Asia’s best venues.

Bar Manager Summer Lo

Head Bartender Yvonne Chan

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

In leading ARGO, Antinori is supported by a strong team, including Hong Kong industry star Summer Lo, formerly of Blue Bar and winner of Speed Rack Asia, and Yvonne Chan, formerly of The Old Man Hong Kong, which ranked as Asia’s Best Bar in 2019. The team at ARGO includes many team members who have been with the hotel since before renovation began, and have been honing their talents for service and hosting at Caprice, experiencing Michelin-standard standards first hand while waiting for the venue to be completed.

ARGO’s debut cocktail menu, titled ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’, showcases staple daily ingredients that were once classed as luxuries and may once again become so with the onset of climate change and the disruption it threatens to bring to agriculture and food production. Each cocktail is inspired by one such ingredient and is presented as both an “Origin” and “Evolution” option. Coffee, a daily staple for many worldwide, is represented in the “Origin” section as the Red Rock Sazerac, a mix of Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, beetroot, Ethiopian green coffee and bentonite clay, which evokes the red, earthy soils where the first coffee beans were found and cultivated.

The Red Rock Sazerac Cocktail, with Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

No bar built on a foundation of innovation and exploration would be complete without creative collaborations with spirits and ingredient producers that push boundaries. ARGO’s collaboration with South Australia distillery Never Never Distilling Co. has produced an award-winning modern martini gin that represents this spirit of innovation. A distillate of Chinese gins is mixed with Never Never’s trademark robust juniper-forward spirit before being rested in an ex-Chardonnay wine barrel that has been seasoned with Mancino Secco vermouth. The result is a dry, fragrant and herbal gin, with a touch of champagne hue from the barrel. that has already garnered recognition with a Gold Medal and scoring of 95 points from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) This collaboration gin is best enjoyed in the signature ARGO Martini, which is presented in a bespoke crystal glass developed for ARGO by John Jenkins in the United Kingdom.

Never Never Distilling Co x John Jenkins x ARGO martini collaboration, ‘ARGO Martini’.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

ARGO’s spirits collection, titled “The World’s Most Innovative Spirits”, is another highlight of a visit to the bar. Developed over the course of two years by Antinori and Tom Egerton, Proof Creative’s Senior Bar Consultant, the collection is inspired by the changing landscape of spirits production and challenges the traditional classifications of liquors. Categories include “Modernist Spirits”, which showcases spirits created with cutting-edge techniques, and “Philanthropic & Socially Conscious Spirits”, which celebrates producers who have a strong commitment to protecting their land, culture, and peoples. The collection was compiled as part of an 18-month selection process undertaken by Antinori and Egerton during which each bottle had to go through a strict criteria to review whether or not it was true to the ethos of innovation, and includes nearly 30 bottles hand-sourced by Proof & Company from around the world which cannot be found elsewhere in Hong Kong.

“We were interested in how the landscape of spirits making has been evolving, reflecting what’s happening in the fast-paced modern world,” Says Antinori “We felt the need of breaking the wall of the classic traditions and look with curiosity what’s on the other side, to remain ahead of the curve and see emerging patterns in a changing environment.”

While serious about craft and experience, Antinori and the ARGO team take care to ensure there is a light-hearted side to ARGO. Fun and unexpected details are woven into the experience and are constantly changing, leaving guests surprised and delighted. From gummy-bear laced champagne to magic olives and chocolate kisses, these small details help bring ARGO to life.

Barks, Leaf and Love – Honey Gin, Longan, Ivy Leaf, Preserved Strawberries & Split Milk

Single Origin Negroni - St. George Terroir Gin, Cascara vermouth, Hulu Gali Cocoa, Smoked Jalapeno

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

Inspired by a neo-classical conservatory, ARGO’s interior design is visually striking. Led by designers ABConcepts, the ARGO interiors include mellow green tones, topiary boxes, exposed metal and natural light from Victoria Harbour, which helps the venue to transition seamlessly from day to night. The unique back bar tower features 58 individual rotating chambers housing the collection of innovative spirits. Seating 90 guests in comfortable luxury lounge fashion, the floor-to-ceiling windows, which frame the transition between sunny days to the twinkling Kowloon skyline at night, provide a captivating backdrop to explore the cocktails, spirits, and service.

Striking interiors inspired by a neo-classical conservatory.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hong Kong

Brand and collateral for ARGO, including the food and drink menus, was developed by Adelaide-based design agency MASH, who are known for visually rich venues such as Bali’s Motel Mexicola and Hong Kong’s Happy Paradise. Beyond creating a visual identity for the bar, MASH helped create a hard-bound Field Guide to the World’s Most Innovative Spirits which is presented as a companion piece to the cocktail menu. The Field Guide includes extensive information and photography that tell the stories of each spirit in the collection.

Food offerings include luxe takes on comfort food and are designed to pair with the cocktail experience and provide a perfect companion to the drinking experience, with similar inspiration regarding innovation to be found in the menu design. This can be seen in the plant-based protein Impossible Meats Katsu Sando flight and the iconic Hong Kong egg waffles are elevated with a trio of milk ice cream, Sichuan chocolate and salted miso caramel dipping sauces.

The Hong Kong egg waffles at ARGO.

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

ARGO is the latest debut in a long-line of collaborations between Proof Creative and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, a shared history that includes the development of Manhattan Bar in Singapore, Charles H. in Seoul and Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur. Proof Creative’s work on ARGO was led by Senior Bar Consultant Tom Egerton. This work included creative collaborations with respected glassware purveyor John Jenkins, award-winning gin brand Never Never Distilling Co., and others.

Proof Creative’s involvement begun in early 2019 and implemented its renowned ’20 Pillar’ Creative Process. This meant taking a holistic approach to its consulting and work on the early concept development phase, through to functional layout advisory, OS&E curation, glassware design, innovative spirits curation, creative writing and much more.

Tom Egerton, Senior Bar Consultant

“ARGO was a long journey from conception to opening night, and to see how the venue has come to life has been incredible. A particularly proud moment for me was on the first opening night sitting and enjoying the first sip of the ARGO martini, using a gin we helped create and a glass we helped to design – and watching the full room full of happy and excited faces, the culmination of an incredible amount of passion, hard work and dedication.”

The journey at ARGO has only just begun with the doors finally opening, with plans for integrating augmented reality garnishes, an innovative spirit drinking society, engaging and thoughtful programming and more planned to introduce over coming months, and as options for travel slowly begin to open up Hong Kong to guests from around the world to visit ARGO in person.


With ARGO now open, you can visit the venue at the Four Seasons Hong Kong from 5:00pm to 12:00am, Monday to Saturday. At current time they are not accepting reservations, with only walk-ins available. You can follow the journey on Instagram.