Mary Pickford – Art Deco Drinking with Seaview
During summertime it is very hot and sticky in the city of Athens. Some of the bars close their doors and go on holiday to the airy islands. A few weeks ago, I was in Athens and it was bloody hot during the day and also the night. Luckily in June, a new rooftop bar opened a bit outside of Athens in Mikrolimano, Piraeus. Mary Pickford is a collaboration between Baba Au Rum and the Michelin star awarded restaurant Varoulko Seaside.
The brains behind it are both famous. One for fine drinking and the other for fine dining. Thanos Prunarus and Lefteris Lazarou set up a bar on top of the famous restaurant Varoulko.
Mary Pickford was one of the most popular film actresses and producers of the 1910s and 1920s. The woman of the twenties was emancipated and self-confident. Mary Pickford liked good drinks and it is said that the drink Mary Pickford was dedicated to this first Hollywood starlet. It was created by barman Fred Kaufman in her honour at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba while she was filming in Cuba. The Art Deco movement also had its heyday in those decades. The idea of this bar was born when the team behind this project gazed at the sea and started to dream of the majestic Art Deco bars, where travellers enjoyed their drinks:
Providing a fine drinking place surrounded by Art Deco paired with innovative drinks and delicious bar food that is served on a starlit terrace with a breathtaking sea-view of Microlimano harbor.
The adventure began when Alexandros Sourbatis, a famous bar luminary and the new head bartender of the new bar, picked me up in the hot city centre of Athens. The airstream on the motorbike was quite refreshing and after twenty minutes we reached our destination Mary Pickford.
An elevator takes you to the upper level where you find yourself in front of the lovely bar team and the amazing view. The space is open and the decoration elegant and discreet. Nothing distracts you from the beautiful scenery. The softly rocking boats in the harbour, the hills changing their colours during the sunset from pink to blue, and the open sea view. If you look to the left you can even see the Acropolis on the horizon.
I spent a whole night at the marble bar counter. The back bar is kept simple and you won’t find a huge collection like at Baba Au Rum. This is because they need to remove everything overnight and rebuild it the next day, but don’t worry they have many spirits in stock. The menu takes up the Art Deco theme with nice illustrations. It isn’t a surprise to find the Mary Pickford cocktail on the menu. A light and refreshing drink with rum, pineapple, pomegranate syrup and maraschino.
My first drink of choice was the Pearl Fisher from the Summer Bubbles category. A kind of Negroni, served as a long drink. Bittersweet Amaro, spices, lime and two splashes of tonic water flavoured with cherry blossoms. The right drink for the right time and place. Another delicious drink of this category and one of my favourite summer drinks is an Old Cuban. The Mary Pickford version is a fresh Daiquiri with flavours of citrus and peppermint topped with a refreshing sparkling wine. Anna Banana is a drink that will surprise your palate and a must try.
Do you want to know how the bar food looks like if the bar belongs to a Michelin Star awarded fish restaurant? I had delicious fresh crab with wasabi mousse, smoked eel with chocolate scented potato mousse, ceviche, sturgeon with vanilla scented celery mousse and smoked swordfish with carrot mousse. Look at the amazing mouthwatering picture, enough said!
As I already said, I stayed the whole night. So, it was time to opt for another drink. The Deco Cocktail category lists beside the Mary Pickford another classic cocktail. The Smash, with gin and fresh mint was another great choice for this summer evening. If you fancy some Baba Au Rum style cocktails have a look at the Meet the Exotics section. Here you will find rum and Mediterranean flavoured drinks. Or just ask the lovely bartenders dressed in blue shirts and aprons for a recommendation.
Lefteris Lazarou’s had already created a unique seafood experience at the restaurant. The team behind Mary Pickford have created at beautiful rooftop bar which provides its visitors with a very elegant atmosphere and a relaxing and beautiful view. I came back to Athens and found another reason to return. Thanks a lot for keeping me stalking.