Ballantine’s Unveils Winning Night Market Bar Concept at Exclusive Launch Event
When Ballantine’s launched The Bar Project in France earlier this year, young mixologist Abderrahim El Asfar – known as “Abdou” – could only dream of his entry reaching the final stages and eventually being brought to life by Europe’s leading whisky brand. However, last night, Abdou’s bar concept became reality, unveiled at a special launch event attended by some of Paris’s leading media and socialites.
“L’Epicerie” – Abdou’s imaginative bar concept which won the entrepreneurial competition with more than 50% of the public vote – is open to the public at popular Parisian nightspot “Le Chacha” now, opening Tuesday to Sunday for an exclusive six-week period.
Every week, customers will be able to join various sessions that will explore the characteristics of Ballantine’s, including the opportunity to sample some of the mixologists’ delicious concoctions that have been inspired by the whisky and its taste profile.
The bar is the product of a challenge set by Ballantine’s, inviting entrepreneurs from across France to submit their own vision for a dream bar. The project saw more than 100 entries submitted via Facebook, which were whittled down to just three by a jury including Simon Baldeyrou, CEO of Deezer in France, and Laura Leonard, a renowned interior designer, the public vote then deciding the overall challenge winner.
El Afsar’s design is inspired by a traditional night market, in which customers are able to browse the ‘market’s’ evocative shelves, selecting their own ingredients which will then form the base of their cocktail. The mixologists behind the bar will then create an innovative whisky cocktail with these ingredients, selecting the most appropriate expression from the Ballantine’s range to match, which customers will be able to drink around the large host table that forms the centrepiece of the bar.
Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, said: “Given that our Founder George Ballantine is known to have created his first whisky in an ‘épicerie’ or delicatessen, it seems very fitting that it is this concept which we have been able to bring to life for the first time.
“The project has been so well received that it is to be repeated again in France next year and we have a number of other key markets who are also planning to run the competition. This means that more entrepreneurs around the world will have the chance to bring their own dream bar concept to life.”
About The Bar Project by Ballantine’s
The Bar Project by Ballantine’s launched in France in February 2014, offering French consumers the chance to create the bar of their dreams, with the winning design to be brought to life by Ballantine’s for a limited period in the heart of Paris. More than 100 designs were submitted, which were then reviewed by a panel of experts; Simon Baldeyrou, CEO of Deezer France, Laura Leonard, renowned interior designer, Hirmane Abdoulhakime, Artistic Director, and Mathieu Deslandes, Marketing Director of Pernod. Three finalists were chosen – “L’Epicerie”, “The Charlatan” and “Ball Cocktail” – and were put to the public vote, with “L’Epicerie” being crowned the overall winner. Ballantine’s will now work with the winning designer, Abdou El Asfar, to bring his design to life for a limited period in Le Chacha Club. The bar officially opened to the public on the 4th September 2014 and will remain open for a period of six weeks. For more information about The Bar Project by Ballantine’s, visit www.ballantinesbarproject.fr About Le Chacha Club Le Chacha is situated in the heart of Paris’s first district, a key feature of the nightlife scene. A restaurant, bar and nightclub, the décor evokes a 1930s apartment with the various rooms lending themselves to a range of uses, from showrooms to fashion shoots and even music studios. The winner of The Bar Project by Ballantine’s was given the opportunity to transform the first floor of Le Chacha; 45 square meters has been converted into a new look in line with the winner’s vision.
Ballantine’s is the No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the world’s No 2 Scotch whisky by volume, and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 120 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.