Chris Doig, 33 years old, from Scotland (born in Dundee), have a kid who is 10 months old.
- What is your background?
“I have worked in Melbourne, London and Copenhagen. I went to Australia when I was 19-20 years old. I wanted to see the world and had family there. That’s when I started working as a bartender.
I came back to Europe because I had a Danish girlfriend. We moved to Copenhagen and that’s about ten years ago. For a short period of time I went to London to open a bar for MASH. It was a great experience. So I have been in Copenhagen for about 10 years.
- Where have you worked in Copenhagen?
“Café Sommersko where I meet Nikolaj Brønsted and he hooked me up with Umami and became a mentor and friend in the business. I worked part time at Oak Room, Gefärlich and Karrierebar to make up some experience. But ultimately Umami for about 7 years just before I started at Madklubben early 2014 until present”
- How did you start working as a bartender?
“It all started at my aunt and uncle’s Turkish restaurant in Scotland, where I loved getting behind the bar and making the drinks. It was mainly ‘after-hours’ learning. Naturally I was fascinated with making drinks and it appealed to me from an early age. When I got a job behind the bar in Australia I didn’t know anything. It became my introduction to the industry. This was in 2003. I remember thinking my first Dry Martini was awful and Campari I didn’t like either, so you know, totally new in the game.
But I loved the atmosphere with co-workers and the kitchen side too, learning about food, wine and so on. The interaction with guests was fun and meeting people from all over the world which helped me develop my communication skills and reading different types of personalities. Also at this time hospitality in Australia was miles ahead of what I had seen before. Much more service minded and outgoing. I learned a lot here working in both bars, restaurants, nightclubs. So I saw a lot of different things.”
- How has it been working with Anders and doing Madklubben bars?
“It has been interesting. He is a very good businessman always looking for the next big thing. He travels a lot for inspiration as well. It has not been easy, I mean, its´ all different restaurants with different concepts. So it has been a challenge to give each place its´ own style and differentiate the bars.”
- What are the thoughts behind “Bar next door?”
“I want this bar to be for everyone. You come in and made to feel welcome. I want this relaxed and comfortable vibe. A place where you lose track of time and enjoy the moment between drinks and friends old and new. “Cocktails & Dreams” – we want it to have a feeling of nostalgia and we will have details in the bar to convey a homage to things of old that remind us of the past and with a hint of humour about it.
* Work in progress to make it for the soft opening the 1st of october.
FoodwiseFor bar snacks, we have chosen some of the best dishes that accompany drinks and beers from our neighbour ‘Alabama Social’ and will serve them in the bar. W are going to be open during the day as well for coffees or, if people are up for it, Bloody Marys of course. We are also going to have some nice croissants from the French bakery. So our hours will be something like closed Monday, open from 11-12 until midnight or 2 am in the weekends.”
- What is the menu going to look like?
“For the layout I´m working with an company who are helping with the design and we have many funny ideas. Illustrations are something I want to infuse into the aesthetic and it should be memorable. It is a major representation of the bar.
The drinks themselves will be contain favoured classics following the seasons. You know classics that are classics for a reason. Then we will have our own creations also following the seasons and our interest and taste.
Its about offering the guest something different yet not too haute couture that they feel uncomfortable ordering it. But guiding them onto something we are passionate about sharing.
The prices will vary from 85-95 or 100 kr. We want it to be fair priced and not too expensive. People should get value for money.”
* Bunch of business cards that Chris has collected from his travels for inspiration.
* Details matters!
- Will you be behind the bar?
“For sure. I have to, this is my place and it is a dream come true for any bartender, I mean, I´m opening my own bar. I love being behind the bar, talking and making drinks. I can’t be here all the time, as I have a young son to look after but I will definately be behind the bar a lot. I want to be involved in everything and make sure that our quality is as high as we can do.”
- What can people expect?
“We are hoping for an opening party for friends and family the 1st of October and then a week later the grand opening for the public. So around the 7th of October we hope to open up for the public.
I hope people will get a great experience and enjoy another cool bar in Copenhagen on this amazing location. I mean we are right by the lakes, we have Dronnings Louises Bro and Nørrebrogade right next to us and also we have some great restaurants as neighbours.
* The team behind Bar Next Door have been a big part of designing the bar themselves.
- Future plans?
“For now we will focus on this place here and make it a great bar. We have ambitions to be a place of high quality and standards. Then we will see where it will take us. But for now get this up and running and after a year we can have this conversation again.”