Where once cashiers counted cash, mix-masters have cashed-up guests counting out cash for cocktails (say that 10x quickly) in the new bar of The Bank Brasserie & Bar (we’ll call it ‘The BBB’ for short).
Even though this new creature in Vienna’s nightlife is housed in the Park Hyatt Hotel, it’s clear it has serious intentions for the resident night owls of the city, and those intentions involve becoming a known spot for breaking boundaries in the craft of cocktails.
The centrepiece is the oval shaped bar where, under low lighting, vest clad, smartly-dressed bar staff shake, stir and pour their potions – when they’re not leaning over the bar trying their charm on the guests, that is.
The real eye-catcher which your attention will return to several times in a night is the leadlight window framing the bar. Meanwhile, the trees that anchor either side of it give the place a tropical twang.
It was always going to be opulent being born into the historical building that was once a bank, and there’s enough of that grandeur to remind you that this place deserves brushing your teeth and a swanky outfit. But they’ve added enough original touches that make the place interesting, beyond it’s bling.
The cocktail menu is invented to be inventive, and probably required a whole bunch of slightly tipsy people sitting down one night, and asking the question – what crazy shit can we create in the space of a drink (please note: this is not the true story, but you’ll need more drinking for that to seem interesting).
While the bar staff will gladly make you one of the classics, the selection of signature cocktails is where the drinking adventure is at. To give you an inkling of how much mad scientist shit is going down behind the bar – some of the cocktail creations require the bar staff to call in backup from the kitchen, like the sweet and creamy, Ternobuchtel and Kanarimilch, made up of vanilla honey and plum jam, served in a milk can, with a pastry on the side (we’d have one of those for breakfast)
Then there’s the extravagant Tresor (translation: vault), made with golden water (now that just sounds made-up) and refined with saffron, served with a wooden vault box. Man, how the mixing of drinks has been elevated to an art form! Quick question: is there anything left in the food and drink world that hasn’t been picked up off the street and pimped as an ‘art’ or ‘science’?
The extended drinks list, while pricey, contains an eclectic curated collection of spirits that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere, from Japanese whiskey to Spanish brandy and pisco.
This is one creative, sophisticated sort of cocktail bar that offers something different in Vienna for those special occasions that calls for a bit of swank and sassy style.
Some of the best bars in the world are housed in hotels, and the The BBB has the potential to join those ranks. It all depends on if it can charm the locals, and keep things fresh.