Secret Service: Speakeasy manager profile


2020 marks 100 years since prohibition began in America – the ideal opportunity for DRAM to profile managers/owner-managers of some of Scotland’s most talked-about speakeasy bars, starting with Draffens Dundee Manager, Nathaniel Hampton.

Nathaniel Hampton, 26, was made GM at Draffens, part of the Maclerry 300 stable, just after Christmas after working as assistant manager under Sarah Berardi, who has since moved onto manage all of Macmerry 300’s other concerns within the Draffens building on Dundee’s Nethergate.

He said, “We take inspiration from prohibition for our menus and our events – but also what prohibition did for cocktails. We take a lot of our inspiration from Harry MacElhone – an early 20th-century bartender, originally from Dundee who invented the Side Car and White Lady cocktails among others at after he moved to work in New York.”

Comparing working in a speakeasy to other bars he’s tended, he said “The intimate nature of the bar (our capacity is 55­) dictates the training is more intensive because you must always be engaged with the customer, so you tend to make cocktails using muscle memory.”

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Tags: Draffens, Dundee, Nathaniel Hampton, speakeasy