Every once in a while you come across a special place. A place that feels right. A place you feel comfortable in. A place that you know is going to give you some great memories to talk about. Such a place is 6 cocktails. Hidden away from the mainstream bars and without any signs outside, you will never know that hidden behind the windows on the second floor of one of the streets most beautiful buildings is a secret bar. A bar for those who are invited in, you need to send them an email to arrange a day and time. For those that have been you will know what im talking about. For those that haven’t (and not only) you can read on to see how our interview went with the surprisingly young owner who in fact stuns us with one of his answers.
Hi Enio. So is that a Polish name? It sounds rather Italian!
I guess it brings Ennio Morricone to mind! It’s been a tradition in my family to name a son Alfred (that’s my real name), and then come up with a totally unrelated nickname which is used as a first name, to make things easier in life(haha). So everyone knows me as “Enio”. If you ask my bartenders for Alfred, they probably wouldn’t even know who are you talking about!
Can I ask how old you are?
I will be 24 in June. I know, it’s crazy – I opened the bar in Poland when I was still unable to buy a beer in the US.
Thats young. Apart from running 6 cocktails I heard you are practicing law, right?
I am graduating from law school this year. However I’m not planning to practice law. Legal studies provide you with good analytical skills, strategic thinking and communication. It helped me a lot in business since I started the bar and other ventures later on.
So tell us what 6 cocktails is all about?
6 cocktails is about top quality cocktails with a laid-back atmosphere. I didn’t have any experience in gastronomy, but from the beginning I knew we should focus on excellent customer service and the rest will follow. And it did! We are best known for our hospitality and cocktails. On the other hand, 6 cocktails was one of the first speakeasy bars in Warsaw. I guess I used the right timing – since 6 cocktails was opened, dozens of great cocktail bars with signature drinks popped up in Poland.
Apparently 6 Cocktails used to be your family home, right?
That’s right. It’s not usual to open a bar in your apartment, but I’ve had this unique opportunity. All the other apartments in the building are used as boutiques and offices, thus the possibility.
At the time, I got really passionate about the cocktail culture and decided to make a difference by reinventing an unused space and turning it into a secret bar. Of course, it wouldn’t be at all possible if not my family, who helped me – and agreed to lend me the apartment! My grandparents who lived there from the late 70’s had something of an open house policy: they were always hosting guests or throwing parties. With 6 Cocktails, we are simply continuing the family tradition of entertaining people in this flat.
How old were you when you lived there?
My parents and I moved out when I was 12. But my best childhood memories are immanently related to this place. Sometime in the future I will live here again – and then I will look back to where the bar was and where the people were dancing. So quickly, come to 6 cocktails before I’ll decide to move back in!
Which room was your bedroom?
My room used to be where the cloakroom is now.
6 Cocktails is kinda hard to find. Is that your intention?
As I mentioned before – having this apartment was once in a lifetime opportunity. What one would think was a flaw, I took as an advantage. Second-floor apartment in an old, beautiful building in the center of Warsaw was meant for a secret speakeasy bar! Our guests get directions after calling us and their adventure begins in front of the heavy wooden gate, with no signs of a bar at all. They must call the secret number and look for 6 cocktails door, hidden somewhere in the original marble staircase from 1905.
When was the moment you decided to open a bar?
I wanted to do something – apart of studying and it was the right opportunity. My organisational character made me start this project and while others were partying in clubs and spending money in bars, I decided to open one! It took six months of preparations, as I built most of the furniture in a garage with a friend who is a carpenter. That was a really amazing experience and great lesson on how to succeed with a minimal budget.
How did you come up with the name?
I didn’t – I just added “cocktails” to the number of my apartment so people know what we serve here!
A lot of the rooms seem to have been left how they were since you lived there. Is that because you are tight with your money or is there some reason to your madness!
Of course, that’s one thing, as we wanted to show the unique heritage of this building which wasn’t destroyed during the WW2. That’s why we left the floors and uncovered the original painting in one of the rooms, not mentioning the beautiful tiled stove’s which were used to heat these rooms back at the time. On the other hand, it was my intention to keep kind of a homey atmosphere. Thus the huge wooden bookshelf which was transformed into a booze-shelf and the ladies bathroom with the jacuzzi and 90’s style decor. If you look into pictures from 6 cocktails on Instagram you’ll see mainly girls’ photos from the bathtub with an old phone receiver which is hanging next to it. It’s a bit surreal, but that is the intended effect!
I love your small smoking room. I bet it’s a great place for people to introduce themselves to each other. What was that room when you lived there?
That used to be a dining room, with a long table in the middle. We were gathering here for big occasions and now random people get together with each other and start passionate conversations. That’s because we put the sofas around the room – it somehow stimulates people to talk to each other, even though it’s not very common in Poland to talk to strangers in bars, that’s why I love it.
You have a great selection of drinks. What is your most expensive? You also create your own exclusive cocktails, right?
We have some rare scotch and cognac that goes for a hundred pln for a shot, but we mainly focus on our menu of 12 signature cocktails we change every season. That was my mission in the first place – to change the culture of drinking in Warsaw. At the time I opened 6 cocktails there was this trend for cheap vodka bars selling a sausage and a warm shot. It changed rapidly when people started to recognize the quality and appreciate good service.
….and your favorite?
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Posted by 6 cocktails on Thursday, February 1, 2018
I’m a big fan of gin! You can find a vast selection of gin in our booze-shelf. It’s difficult to choose one, it depends on my mood. But right now I would probably go for one with the extra strength to warm up a little bit.
6 Cocktails has fast become one of Warsaw’s most exclusive and coolest places. How does one get into 6 cocktails? Can I just turn up?
You can always just turn up, Carlos! We ask our guests to call us in advance (or message on facebook.com/6cocktails) so we can put you on the list. Our regular guests get special cards so they don’t have to call earlier. This exclusive vibe brought a lot of attention, especially in the beginning, because everyone simply wanted to get in. I’m particularly delighted that after 3 years, 6 cocktails still stands out with the cool atmosphere, and that’s largely thanks to our cool guests that chose us. Thanks!
Its been a pleasure meeting with you. Finally, describe 6 Cocktails in 3 words.
Cool, quality, worth to search for!
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