November 21, 2018

Mr Fogg’s – Drunk with success

It goes without saying that London is one of the greatest cities in the world and rather fittingly it has a hospitality and leisure sector to match. With so many high quality bars it is increasingly difficult for venues to rise above the rest but this is exactly what Mr Fogg’s has done having been named as one of the UK’s six best bars by GQ magazine. What’s even more impressive is that it has only recently celebrated its second year of trading after opening in May 2013. FMCG caught up with Danilo Tersigni, General Manager, to see how this fast track success has been achieved.

“Essentially Mr Fogg’s is a time capsule situated in the heart of London, so when you walk through the doors it’s like being transported back to 1885,” explains Mr Tersigni. “The aim has been to give customers a taste of the Victorian age by having a strong focus on staff training and the interior décor. The setting has been modelled on the home of fictional explorer Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days and each of the staff is based on a character from the novel. In-keeping with the theme our cocktails, which we call libations, are sourced from ‘around the world’.

“Our staff are trained to be so immersed in the 19th Century period that they’ll pretend to not be aware of any modern technology that customers bring in with them, such as mobile phones or tablets. It’s all about the attention to detail and customers have really embraced the concept, often dressing up in Victorian costumes and top hats. It’s very much like a piece of live theatre.”

Mr Fogg's-3.

Owned by London nightlife impresarios Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, Mr Fogg’s is every bit as weird and wonderful as the other bars and clubs in the Inception Group portfolio. Having worked so hard on staff training, creating the cocktail range and the development of the fantastical interior, the last two years have been all about building Mr Foggs’ name within London’s a fiercely competitive bar market, an objective that the GQ recognition can only help to enhance.

The quality of the cocktails on offer has ensured that the bar has been able to shake off any accusations of being overly gimmicky with its expert bartenders really knowing their trade, led by Mr Tersigni’s experience. “I’ve been working behind bars for 15 years, starting out in Italy when I was just 14 years old, so to be working at a bar concept such as Mr Fogg’s, which is one of the best in the world, is a dream come true.

“What is particularly pleasing is that we’ve kept the same staff together for the past two years so have been able to develop a great working spirit. This has been crucial to our success, as has our belief in what we do. When we put new menus together it’s a real group effort that everyone gets involved in. It’s also great fun, which always helps.”

“What is particularly pleasing is that we’ve kept the same staff together for the past two years so have been able to develop a great working spirit. This has been crucial to our success, as has our belief in what we do. When we put new menus together it’s a real group effort that everyone gets involved in. It’s also great fun, which always helps.”

Danilo Tersigni, General Manager

As Mr Foggs’ reputation continues to grow it can expect to become much more widely known within the London bar scene but Mr Tersigni has still found the time to play a role in the development of a brand new gin, VII Hills, which been ‘crafted in England, but designed in Italy. “Developing the gin was challenging as we wanted the product to be unique so it was quite a lengthy process. We’re really pleased with the gin we’ve produced, which has been inspired by the seven hills of Rome. We don’t have the marketing muscle of the larger brands but we’ve been gradually building the VII Hills name since its launch last year. It’s very time-consuming and involves a huge amount of work but it’s also extremely exciting and rewarding.”

Exciting times indeed. Those seeking a unique drinking experience in London would be well advised to check out Mr Fogg’s to see the reasons behind the GQ success first-hand.

 

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