Gorilla Bar – Fine Drinking & Fun
This is not my first visit to the second biggest city of Greece. It is hard to resist if one has ever tasted Greek hospitality. This is the reason why you find me at its bar counters quite often. But it is not the only reason. Mixed Drinks are becoming more and more popular all over the world. The high degree of professionalism without losing happiness and lightheartedness is one more reason. They combine fine drinking with an unorthodox twist and a relaxing atmosphere.
Something else of importance to me is food in bars. I love places that open during the day, offering delicious cuisine and afterwards a well thought out cocktail. Bar food and foodpairing is not a new trend but the food level is improving constantly. I have noticed this especially in Athens and Thessaloniki. But let’s have a look into Thessalonikis barworld. You will find many places to grab a drink, but there are also some fascinating things going on.
Gorilla is such a place. Their motto is „Fine drinking & Fun“, and the guys have nailed it. Fabulous cocktails, great vibe, and music. Even the bar is packed and all the people are dancing, the quality of the drinks is consistent and the bartenders are smiling.
The venue isn’t big but the atmosphere is open and light. There is a huge open backbar with an amazing inumerable selection of spirits. The interior is a jungle funky industrial style with colourful 50s retro fridges. The glassware is reduced and straight, but the handmade mugs are stunning. Some drinks are served in a banana or a gorilla. Some claim that the name of the bar comes from the appearance of one of the co-owners. However named, this place is unique and tailored to the guests. The bar and even the rest rooms have been decorated with a lot of attention to detail. The kitchen is their lab and technical equipment like Sous-Vide is ready to get the best flavours from the ingredients. What is used in a kitchen is used for the drinks. The mission is Not to be mixologists and educate the guests.
They have created a sensory space to delight the guests with unorthodox signature drinks and pimp the classics.
When I was there, they were launching a new seasonal menu. So, I don’t know the names of the new drinks I had, but you should ask for the variation of a Gimlet: Gin, Italicus, dehydrated kaffir leaves, and aloe vera perfectly stitched together and served with a beautiful clear ice ball. And also try the lovely concoction with olive oil, or just try all of them and don’t forget to order the tasty bar food.
Dance with a perfect cocktail in your hand and celebrate life.
The heads behind this concept are the creators of The Bar Testament. They do bar consulting, bar catering, bar supplies and bar services. They also bring internationally renowed bartenders to Greece. Last year I attended a seminar by Alex Kratena and met this innovative team for the first time. Sharing is caring, nothing more to say about that. These guys are gorgeous. They gave me a warm welcome, a handmade banana mug and they put my sticker on their fridge.
Do you thing this is enough for the guys do? What about Cocktails on Wheels? I was in Thessaloniki at just the right time for the street food festival. There I found two lovely restored Citroen HY vans. The one with the pink light is a mobile fully organised cocktail bar called Pig Nose. This is what the French used to call this Citroen van in the old days. The other van is called Mahalo and serves juicy Hawaiian Burgers, delicious Cuban sandwiches and fresh pasta.
They say: “Our attention focuses on our guests and their enjoyment!“ I say: Mission accomplished.