Around the world, bars and pubs are coming up with weird and wonderful ways to offer men a different drinking experience. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, visit a tourist attraction with a twist, or are just open to trying a new bar craze, check out these top ten man-centric cocktail bars from around the globe.
We all love a good cocktail bar, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like bar owners to get a little creative. From weird and wonderful museum displays to interactive gaming and thematic concepts, these men-centric bars bring a whole new dimension to slipping out for a cold one. Let the fun begin!
The World’s End, Brighton
With four-player virtual reality booths, a remote control racetrack, retro arcade machines, an escape room, 50 craft beers and an Asian fusion menu, The World’s End, Brighton’s best bar-cade has so much on offer it’s hard to fit it all into one night. The Quest for the Golden Trophy is the main attraction; join forces with three friends to take on the VR Rec Room dungeon with swords and bows. If anyone in your party dies, a high-five brings them back to life, or a pint of Rocky Road Ice Cream, one of the bar’s craft brews, should also do the trick.
Wolf Market, Hong Kong (now closed)
Located in the heart of Hong Kong, one of the world’s busiest financial hubs, Wolf Market takes inspiration from Wall Street and recreates the stock market with cocktails. Wolf Market is split into two: the Trading Floor on the lower level and The Trader’s Room on the upper level, accessed via a secret stairwell. An LED screen that runs across the ceiling constantly updates with the cocktail menu and its fluctuating prices, based on each drink’s popularity. Take a stab at stock-trading and watch for your favourite cocktail or spirit to come down in price before making your move.
Fragrances, Ritz-Carlton Berlin
Giorgio Armani and Guerlain have hand-picked the scents on Fragrances‘ interactive menu of elegantly presented aromas. Once you’ve chosen the fragrance for you, the bar team will create a bespoke cocktail using the scent as inspiration. Up to 16 ingredients are used in each drink and every cocktail tastes like your selected aroma. This sensory experience bar is located at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin, a stylish setting that makes for a beautiful bar night of classy cocktails.
The Smoke House, Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur
Made up of a lounge bar, cigar room, barber shop, bespoke tailor and private dining room, the modern-day man could want for nothing at The Smoke House. Serving vintage cocktails and a connoisseur collection of single malt whiskies, this all-encompassing bar is draped in 1930s decadence. Other amenities include luxury smoking jackets, a personal chef and an extensive menu of treatments at Truefitt & Hill, designed to groom gentlemen to perfection. Enjoy a traditional hot towel wet shave with a face massage and vintage scotch in hand.
Bad Axe Throwing, Minneapolis
Similar to darts, but with far worse consequences if things go array, bar-goers at Bad Axe aim axes at bull’s-eyes down throwing lanes that resemble bowling alleys. With a scoring system similar to darts, axe throwing is a social sport best enjoyed with a cold beer in hand, a pizza, and a cavalier attitude. Bad Axe Throwing has bars across the US from Atlanta to San Francisco, but only the Minneapolis location currently has a liquor license.
Alcotraz Penitentiary, London
Become an inmate of Alcotraz and smuggle liquor past the warden to receive a tailored bespoke cocktail made by the secret bartender. This immersive theatrical bar incorporates real metal prison cells and orange jumpsuits handed to you upon entry. With no set drinks menu, the talented bar staff create new tailored cocktails every night, based on the liquor you bring and your tastes. The booking fee for the immersive bar experience includes your prison pack, four cocktails from your smuggled liquor of choice and 105 minutes inside the prison-bar.
The home of laser tag for those of legal drinking age, X-Club consists of a lobby with Robocop and Blade Runner memorabilia, a bar with Day-Glo dorm room décor, complete with a pool table, and an underground laser tag maze. Pay for drinks by loading money onto a rubber bracelet that is scanned at the bar. The arena is an alcohol-free zone so shots are advised in order to maximise your game time.
Ballie Ballerson, Sydney
A retro cocktail bar with a one million plastic ball-strong ball pit will likely take you back to your childhood, especially when matched with cocktails made from sherbet lollies. Ballie Ballerson, the newly-opened Sydney outlet of the Shoreditch favourite is covered with a 70 metre glowing UV mural twisting around the walls and offers a golden VIP pit for those who book a table.
The BARber, The Sintesa Jimbaran
The BARbar, an in-house hotel speakeasy and fully-functional men’s barbershop, boasts a 1930s theme and pays homage to a time when an alcohol prohibition drove people to drink in secret. Decorated with dark wooden panels and furnished with cosy sofas, a pool table and vintage photographs covering the walls, the venue’s cleverly hidden entrance reveals a full-service bar beyond.
House of Wax, Brooklyn
Combining mixology with the macabre, House of Wax is based on the all-encompassing touring attractions of the late 1800s. The bar exhibits a selection of life-size waxwork sculptures, realistic displays of anatomy, pathology, anthropology, and death masks of famous celebrities. A menu of anatomical, pathological and geographical cocktails is on offer as you explore the museum. The Horse’s Neck is a highlight of the menu; made from bourbon, Angostura, soda water and lemon peel, the bar adapted it from a bartenders’ manual published in 1882.
The Bletchley, London
Confident they already know what drink you want, The Bletchley, an escape room-come-cocktail bar, uses WW2 enigma machines and Sherlock Holmes’ deduction principles to create personalised cocktails catering to your unique taste. Participants start by inputting simple personality data into a cypher machine that translates each characteristic into specific flavours and textures. Once your personal scent and colour preferences have been deciphered, your unique code is transmitted via radio to a set of expert mixologists waiting to create your perfect drink.
The Barbershop, Sydney
By day, this master barber shop offers a range of professional grooming services for the discerning modern gentleman. Using vintage tools, in-keeping with the atmosphere of a bygone era, barbers provide precision cuts, hot towel shaves, beard trimming and styling. But by night, the lights lower and The Barbershop reveals a partition door hiding a classic European bar specialising in gin cocktails (home to the first Plymouth gin tap in Australia). Mix subtle lighting and discreet music with your choice of libations; boutique bottled beer, artisanal spirits and a selection of Australian and European wines.
Pong, Hong Kong
Experience Pong, the world’s first digital beer pong bar, located on the fourth floor of the Ifc Mall in Hong Kong. Download Pong Connect, an app connected to the beer pong table, and monitor your game and play against players around the world. Choose from three games: Combo Out, Challenge and Countup, and scan the QR code to start. Once the game is completed, scores, accuracy info and rankings are sent to each player’s app. Celebrate your score or drown your sorrows with Pong’s extensive selection of premium and classic cognacs, or a signature cocktail made by veteran mixologist Jody Ho.
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