Red Frog: the bar in Lisbon at the top 100 of the world
“Our goal in three years is to get to the 50 best bars in the world”
Those who pass by Red Frog, in Rua do Salitre, hardly realise its presence. Despite its many prizes, the bar has a discrete entrance easily missed out. You can identify the bar by the frog of Bordalo Pinheiro (the greatest Portuguese designer of ceramics), the totem of the place, and a doorbell saying “Press for cocktails”. This is a speakeasy bar, inspired by the illegal venues abounding in the USA during the Prohibition Era.
The speakeasy concept is present in every detail at the bar, from the decoration to the employees’ garments, but mostly because it has a secret room, whose access is made through a bookcase at the back. This curious ambiance gives the moto to a cocktail list as long as interesting.
At this bar no one is afraid of innovation, of trying the most original mixings or the most modern techniques (like ultrasound homogenization, for example). Since the opening day, in May 2015, Red Frog has always had by mission getting placed among the world’s best. This goal was accomplished when the bar got in the The World's 50 Best Bars list, occupying the 92nd place. It was the first time a Portuguese bar made part of it.
Speaking with Emanuel Minez and Paulo Gomes, Red Frog co-founders, it is easy to understand the ambition that has been taking the bar so far. The partners are constantly travelling abroad, not only to establish collaborations with other bars but also to absorb what is done outside. “We began in a different way. First we focused on the external market and only the in the inside market”, remembers Paul Gomes.
“Portuguese people do not yet understand very well our concept. Some complain of the light being too dark, others complain of the cocktails prices. People have no notion, but our cocktails are very cheap if we compare them to those sold in others cities around the world”, explains Paulo Gomes. “There aren’t many places able to do the work we’re doing without charging lots money from people”.
“We work with an expensive product. There is a major investment on raw material, starting with the base, alcohol, and then everything else, not counting the equipment, the reparation… So we have a great cost to obtain this final product”, says Paulo Gomes. “There are people looking at they pay and not at the experience they may have”, adds Emanuel Minez.
“We have rose 30 places from one year to the other [on The World's 50 Best Bars ranking]”, tells Paulo Gomes. “Our goal in three years is to get to th 50 best bars in the world”, affirms Emanuel Minez. “In two years and a half we have won almost every prize”, finishes Paulo Gomes. Now we must guess what will be the next conquests for Red Frog. One thing is right: you have plenty of good drinks to celebrate.
Adress: Rua do Salitre 5A, 1250-196 Lisboa
Opening hours: 6pm-2am (Monday to Thursday); 6pm-3am (Friday and Satruday); closed on Sunday
Telephone: +351 21 583 1120
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