March 22, 23 & 24
A Chat With Antonio Papariello, Bar Manager at The Franklin Hotel, London
In the interview below, Antonio Papariello discusses his career as a bartender, the top 3 bars in London that he admires, and key skills that a bartender should possess.
Before expressing an interest in mixology and enrolling at The Bartenders Bar Academy of Salerno, Antonio began his career in the family-run bar where he had grown up. Following graduation, he began working in a renowned cocktail bar in Southern Italy and excelled at prestigious national and international contests. After moving to London in 2015, he initially joined the Bunga Bunga Bar Team before being given the position of Bar Manager.
Over the years, he broadened his experience by working in a variety of bars, including Farm Girl, Blue Bird Chelsea, The Grand Hotel Trafalgar Square, Downstairs Bar at The Dilly Hotel, and The Franklin Hotel London, a division of StarHotels. Currently, he holds the position of Bar Manager at The Franklin Hotel London.
Current place of work
The Franklin Hotel London
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Italy, a few kilometers away from the Amalfi Coast. I started my career in my family-owned bar before displaying an interest in mixology and studying American Bartending and Mixology at The Bartenders Bar Academy of Salerno.
After graduation, I started working in a famous cocktail bar in Southern Italy, competing in famous National and International competitions with great results.
In 2015 I moved to London, where I first joined the Bunga Bunga Bar Team before being promoted to Bar Manager.
Over the years, I widened my experience working in a few different bars, among which Farm Girl, Blue Bird Chelsea, The Grand Hotel Trafalgar Square, Downstairs Bar at The Dilly Hotel, and currently, I cover the position of Bar Manager at The Franklin Hotel London part of StarHotels company.
Why did you want to become a Bartender?
Because I have a bar in my blood, I started practicing in my family-owned bar at the age of 10. At the age of 18, I start organizing the first party and started to move the first shakers, and my passion for this world took over. Being a bartender also means being a host, and to host people, you need empathy, sensitivity, and humility.
How, according to you, has the role of the Bartender evolved, especially now during covid times?
Increasing our digital expertise more than we've ever done before.
What are some of the most important skills for a Bartender?
- Good personality
- Good communication skills
- A Desire to learn
- Good customer service
- Be organized
- Knowing drinks and spirits
What do you look for when you plan to buy new products for your business?
I'm constantly looking to improve the bottles display following the trend and try to bring in new high-quality products to use to create fantastic cocktails
Your favorite places to enjoy great cocktails in London other than your bar?
This is a Good question, and I don't have a favourite place because I'm happy to try new drinks and try new bars, but I can give you some names
- A Bar with Shapes for a Name
- Eve Bar Covent Garden
Image: Antonio Papariello
If you had to pick one spirit brand you love, which one would that be?
What's the best part of your job?
Giving the customer the best experience and letting them enjoy the time spent at the bar.
What do you love hearing as a bartender?
I love to know the opinion about what experience the customer had because in that way, they help me to understand which point of the service to improve.
How can a customer get your attention in a crowded bar?
Make eye contact.
What is your go-to "surprise me" order?
I always ask for some key tasting and create something special from the menu.
Please name 3 bartenders of London that you admire and why.
- Salvatore Calabrese is "The Maestro" because he created fantastic drinks with his mixology skills and his experiment.
- Remy Savage, because he is a genius, opened his own bar with a minimalism concept, and I like his inspiration from the Bauhaus and other forms.
- Tony Pescatori, for the concept of mixology, has.
Please name 3 bars in London that you admire and why.
- American Bar of Savoy Hotel is iconic in the history of a cocktail and has played host to legendary bartenders.
- Artesian because they put attention to every detail of the cocktails, this is one of the reasons why it was the best bar in the world for four consecutive years
- Oriole because every drink is an experience
Give Londoners some hidden gems of London they should go and try out.
Barts, The Aubrey, & Disrepute
Header Image: Antonio Papariello
The 2023 London Spirits Competition Results are out! Click to view winners. Click here to order stickers.