Fab! Luxe spoke with two of the special award winners, COA (Hong Kong) and Maybe Sammy (Australia)

The World’s 50 Best Bars, owned and organised by William Reed Business Media, provides a definitive list of the world’s best drinking venues, voted for by an Academy of over 540 experts worldwide. 

The World’s 50 Best Bars list has been published annually since 2009 and has become the most anticipated ranking for drinks professionals and cocktail aficionados across the world, with the awards the highlight of the bar industry calendar. 

COA, Hong Kong

Jay Khan, Co-founder of COA.

Jay, talk to us a little about COA.  

COA was opened in 2017 as part of our mission to bring agave spirits to the forefront of Asia’s cocktail scene. The bar is named after the machete like tool for harvesting agave and to pay homage to the craft. COA (co-ah) is inspired by the drinking dens I frequented on my trips to Mexico. COA focuses on great hospitality, set in a cosy and friendly environment welcoming all walks of life, and provides a diverse beverage offers, featuring 100% agave tequila, traditional mezcal and cocktails inspired by the flavours of Mexico. A 41-page spirit menu dedicated to agave spirits that provides you a glimpse (or deep dive) into these rich, diverse but often misunderstood products. 

What sets you apart from the rest?  

Our focus is mainly on educating and reintroducing agave spirits to our guest. Agave spirits are misunderstood here in Hong Kong, we make sure all our staff are well informed and spent enough time with our guest so each time they come to COA, they get to learn something new about this amazing spirit. We are lucky to have a very dedicated and a passionate team.  

The award your bar wins this year at The  50 World’s Best Bars 2020 .

This year we were announced the Nikka Highest Climber Award. It was incredible. Not something we anticipated. However, we are not going to take this for granted, we will continue to make sure we improve at what we do and find new ways to promote agave spirit.  

How has this pandemic affected your bar?  

Like everyone else we have been immensely affected by the pandemic. The government forced us to close twice. And even now, harsh restrictions are in place. However due to this, it led us to do things we never did before. We started our own e- commerce ( and a very cool collaboration with a local brewery (young master) to do our signature canned paloma (La Paloma de Oaxaca). It has been received very well and now we are in process to do a second batch.  

When all these is over, do you think the industry will pick up where it left off?  

For sure. From our experience after the first shutdown of bars, it didn’t feel like things were changed much. It was the same energy. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger I guess. I think we all will bounce back stronger. It has made us all realise how much more we love our industry.  

Where can Fab! Luxe readers find COA?

You can find all details on our website

Maybe sammy, nsw australia

Martin Hudak, Co-Owner & Bartender

Martin, talk to us a little bit about Maybe Sammy.

Maybe Sammy offers the level of service you’d expect from any of the grand hotel bars around the world, delivered with a touch of flair and fun. Our main inspiration is the roaring 50s and 60s, when the entertainment business was at its peak. Places like Las Vegas and Hollywood were full of nightclubs and casinos with incredible artists and the bars were always fun. We wanted to represent that era at Maybe Sammy and you’ll see it reflected in the interior design, service, signature cocktails as well as our mini cocktails. We also place a strong focus on coffee cocktails. 

What sets you apart from the rest? 

We have an incredibly strong team who are all focused on the same goal and that’s to create a memorable, happy experience for our guests. Our cocktails are a tool to make our guests happy but it’s our hospitality and personality which create the energised ambience and contribute to making it a successful business.

The award Maybe Sammy wins this year at The World’s Best Bars 2020 

We were humbled to receive the Michter’s Art of Hospitality award this year and Best Bar in Australasia, as well as a ranking of #11 in the world. 

How has this pandemic affected Maybe Sammy?

We were closed for about two months during which time we focused on our bottled cocktail program and made some small tweaks to the business so we could survive when we re-opened, despite the restrictions. 

When all these is over, do you think the industry will pick up where it left off? 

There is no doubt it will be a different world after all of this but at Maybe Sammy, we have adjusted to the new norm and learnt to live with it. I think people will appreciate being able to go out to drink and dine more than they used to, so I hope bars around the world will be busier than ever. 

Where can Fab! Luxe readers find Maybe Sammy?

Maybe Sammy, 111 Harrington Street, The Rocks, New South Wales, Australia

Instagram: @maybe_sammy_sydney 


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