Secret Service: Speakeasy managers 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, and today’s the turn of the Manager of Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons, Nicky Craig…

Nicky Craig, 30, co-manages Iain McPherson’s speakeasy with Jono McDowell, and these two have enjoyed a friendly working rivalry over the years. Said Nicky, “We managed rival Edinburgh bars The Basement and Treacle before I moved to Melbourne to manage a speakeasy called Eau de Vie at the same time Jono came to manage Panda & Sons. Both of our bars competed in Tales of the Cocktail the same year, and both making top ten in the Best High Volume International Cocktail Bar category.”

Now that we’ve joined forces and are no longer pitted against one another, we’re hoping for great things at this year’s competition.” And the key to a speakeasy’s success? “Perseverance,” says Nicky. “When Panda and Sons first opened things might’ve been slow on a Thursday night, say, whereas now the word has spread and we are full every night.”

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Tags: speakeasy