New Faces: Penny & Bill

Penny & Bill, opening on February 30, is set to be Stockholm’s first gastrobar. A mix of cocktail bar and restaurant, the venue will have an extensive drinks and cocktail menu as well as light dishes to sample in combination with the drinks. They’ve recruited Johan Evers, one of Sweden’s best bartenders (who was named in the top ten at the World Class Bartender of the Year awards in Miami last year), and we caught up with him to find out more.

So to start off, if you had to pitch the bar Penny & Bill to a stranger, how would you do it?

So it’s a gastrobar obviously, and the idea behind the gastrobar is that we will serve food and cocktails in combination. That’s one of the things that we’re doing. Secondly, it’s a warm, nice rustic atmosphere, where you will experience new flavour combinations. But above all, it’s going to be a very relaxed and fun place to hang out. We’re in new waters here, we’re exploring this way of working. It’s never been done here in Sweden before. For us, it’s a huge challenge. Everyone always wants to continue on their own professional journey and needs challenges, and everyone here is really looking forward to this project.

What kind of things can we expect from the cocktail menu? Anything that particularly stands out for you as a personal highlight?

It’s the biggest cocktail menu in Sweden, that I know of anyway. There are seven categories with four drinks in each category. So it’s a pretty big, impressive menu, and I’m looking forward to serving it. We’re going to make a red Piña colada. We’re making some really interesting flavour combinations, nothing too crazy really, just great cocktails. They all have a purpose, they’re on the menu because they fulfil something and the red Piña colada is probably going to be a big seller for sure. It’s one we’ve been working on for quite some time. We also have a drink called Melissa, which is a whisky-based champagne cocktail, which is absolutely brilliant.

So we’re tipping you as our bar to watch for 2017. But is there anything else on the Stockholm bar scene that you’d like to tip as something to watch for this year?

What I’m looking forward to is seeing how the bars in Stockholm are developing, because we’re in a development stage. That’s going to be interesting.

And can we expect anything extra exciting from Penny & Bill as the year goes on? How do you want to develop the bar and the concept as the year progresses?

To put it this way: what we’re doing when we’re opening now is the first stage. We already have numerous different plans and ideas for what we want to do. So we’ll realise the first stage, and as we get more and more comfortable with what we’re doing we’ll continue with the ideas we already have. You can definitely trust us to not slow down, we’re going to keep on going throughout the year.

Penny & Bill, Grev Turegatan 30