The Savoy team is very happy to share news of the appointment of Chelsie Bailey to the role of Head Bartender at the world-renowned American Bar. She will join the hotel on 19 July from London bar Happiness Forgets, where she is currently General Manager.
Chelsie began her career in the south west of England, managing popular Bristol bars such as Red Light and Filthy 13. After winning several competitions including Speedrack and Chivas Masters in 2016, and Monkey Shoulder in 2017, Chelsie won the coveted Bacardi Legacy Competition in 2019 in the UK and finished in the Top 8 in the world.
In January 2020 Chelsie made the move to London and Happiness Forgets as General Manager, where she worked throughout lockdown looking after their cocktail delivery service and preparing for their reopening. Chelsie has a WSET Level 2 in wine and spirits, and is known for her creativity when it comes to cocktail and menu development, so brings a wealth of experience to the American Bar.
Commenting on her new role, Chelsie said, ‘I’m thrilled to be joining The Savoy team and working with such a group of talented and dynamic people; together writing the next chapter of the American Bar’s history. The Savoy has always had a reputation for innovation and quality; so the role carries with it a sense of responsibility and challenge, but that is what’s so exciting about this iconic position within the bar industry.’
Chelsie will be working alongside Andrea di Chiara, acting Bar Manager. Andrea has risen rapidly through the ranks of the Food and Beverage division, after having joined the Savoy family in 2017 as a bartender in The Bar at Simpson’s, before moving to the American Bar as a bar back in 2019 and, after a series of promotions, to his latest appointment as acting Bar Manager.
Franck Arnold, Managing Director of The Savoy, commented on the bar’s new leadership team, ‘We’re delighted to be welcoming Chelsie to The Savoy and know that she and Andrea will make a formidable duo leading the bar. They share a genuine passion for hospitality, a creative spirit and superb attention to detail. But more than this, they are talented, inclusive leaders who will inspire and motivate their American Bar team. We look forward with them to an exciting new period in the bar’s history.’
The American Bar first opened in 1893 and is the oldest surviving cocktail bar in Britain. It is an icon in cocktail history and has played host to legendary bartenders – historic figures such as Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book, and Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman. It has garnered a multitude of awards during its history, winning World’s Best Bar at the Spirited Awards in 2018 and World’s Best Bar in the World’s 50 Best in 2017.