Cue the queues. Sydney cocktail bar Maybe Sammy has been crowned the best bar in Australasia at last night's The World's Best Bars award ceremony in London.
The bar, located in The Rocks, clinched a number 43 ranking, and is the only Australian bar to crack the top 50 list.
It's a coup for the Sydney bar which opened only nine months ago by co-owners Stefano Catino, Vince Lombardo and Andrea Gualdi (Catino and Lombardo also co-own the Maybe Frank pizzerias in Surry Hills and Randwick). It's the first time Maybe Sammy has appeared on the international rankings, with the list citation ticking off the bar's "inventive and delicious cocktail list", "luxe surrounds" and "attention to detail". The venue was also named one of Australia's best bars in the Gourmet Traveller 2020 Restaurant Guide.
The aftermath of winning such an award sets high expectations for the waiting public, says Lombardo. But he says it's gratifying the team is recognised for their hard work on an international scale. "Our bartenders, especially, are crucial. They treat their place like their own," he says.
Catino and bartender Martin Hudak were in London to collect their award at last night's ceremony, with Lombardo following the webcast from home. "I watched them live with my seven-week-old son on my chest," he says. "He watches all of Juventus F.C.'s games with me, and they remain undefeated. And then we won best bar in Australia. He's my good luck charm."
Notably 2019 marks Australia's return to the top-50 rankings, having not made the cut in 2018.
You'll find more venues flying the Australian flag on the extended list of bars ranked 51-100: Sydney's Bulletin Place jumped to 66th position after last year's 75th ranking, while Baxter Inn was nudged down a peg from 78th to 79th. Melbourne's Black Pearl, ranked 22 in 2017, came in at number 80, while Sydney bar and soda factory PS40 makes its list début at number 95.
The top-50 rankings were dominated by entries from London, which notched up 10 appearances including American Bar which crept up the list from 5th to 2nd position. This was closely followed by New York with six bars on the list including Dante Bar which took out the number one spot this year, leap-frogging from its previous 9th ranking.
The World's 50 Best Bars 2019 full list
- Dante, New York City, USA
- Connaught Bar, London, United Kingdom
- Floreria Atlantico, Buenos Aires
- The Nomad, New York City, USA
- American Bar, London, United Kingdom
- The Clumsies, Athens, Greece
- Attaboy, New York City, USA
- Atlas, Singapore
- The Old Man, Hong Kong
- Licorería Limantour, Mexico City, Mexico
- Manhattan, Singapore
- Native, Singapore
- Carnaval, Lima, Peru,
- Katana Kitten, New York City, USA
- Guilhotina Bar, São Paulo, Brazil
- Three Sheets, London, United Kingdom
- Himkok, Oslo, Norway
- High Five, Tokyo, Japan
- Salmon Guru, Madrid, Spain
- Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
- Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei, Taiwan
- The Dead Rabbit, New York City, USA
- Coupette, London, United Kingdom
- The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
- Dr. Stravinsky, Barcelona, Spain
- Employees Only, New York City, USA
- El Copitas, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Scout, London, United Kingdom
- Jigger & Pony, Singapore
- Operation Dagger, Singapore
- Baba Au Rum, Athens, Greece
- La Factoria, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Presidente, Buenos Aires
- Schumann's, Munich, Germany
- Speak Low, Shanghai, China
- Little Red Door, Paris, France
- Tjoget, Stockholm, Sweden
- The Old Man, Singapore
- Lyaness, London, United Kingdom
- Happiness Forgets, London, United Kingdom
- Swift, London, United Kingdom
- Trick Dog, San Francisco, USA
- Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
- 1930, Milan, Spain
- Sober Company, Shanghai, China
- Electric Bing Sutt, Beirut
- Kwant, London, United Kingdom
- Artesian, London, United Kingdom
- Coa, Hong Kong
- Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, Rome, Italy