The concept is the brainchild of pioneering bartender Jimmy Barrat.
Jimmy Barrat is no stranger to success in the realm of mixology, having earned recognition worldwide as the former Global Bar Development Director for Zuma. Now, the bartender extraordinaire has ventured out on his own, launching Ergo at The Dubai EDITION. Taking cues from the Latin word for ‘therefore’, the venue has a philosophical thread that runs throughout, its spirit and energy carefully curated by Barrat himself.
As for the interiors? Up-and-coming architecture and interior design firm Standpartners – which has bases in Ibiza and Milan – has crafted the look and feel of the venue. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with the artistic flair that Jimmy Barrat is renowned for, complete with a mural by Milanese calligraphy artist Luca Barcellona. As guests move from the dining lounge facing the open kitchen, the mood shifts to a more energetic vibe as the bar area is revealed by turning the corner. Here, Ergo brazenly flips the traditional F&B hierarchy on its head – guests come through the dining area to get to the bar as opposed to the other way around.
Modernity is in the minimalism of the space (think: Kintsugi cracked concrete walls, black Marquina marble bar top, and Palladiana stone floors), with the likes of leather banquets and ambient lighting adding warmth to the venue’s urban chic aesthetic. Retro bowl lampshades designed by the Danish designer Verner Panton, meanwhile, make for the perfect accent. Elsewhere, the borderless Mediterranean menu has been designed to be an epicurean experience that sits neatly alongside the bar programme. It is also a nod to Barrat’s upbringing on the French Riviera. Signatures include the yellowfin tuna pan bagnat, beef tartare on petits toasts, and the Mediterranean octopus with braised chicory. Guests can dine by the kitchen, at the bar counter, or in the lounge. And come cooler weather, the spacious terrace that overlooks the Boulevard will seat 40.
The bar itself creates the tempo at Ergo, and the stellar team in place is well-equipped to deliver effortless execution of signature drinks. Designed by Barrat, the central station has been custom created for the venue, with adaptable ‘beehive’ sections that reflect the buzz of a busy hub. The six-tap draught station does not pour beer, but rather flows cocktails, allowing the bartenders to focus on guest interaction and creating a vibe. The Ergo team has also been reworking some forgotten originals – like the Appletini – to lighten the mood and bring a smile back to the bar industry. The cocktail menu is cheeky, innovative, nostalgic and fun. Guests will find the signature Mr. Pink cocktail a firm favourite, while the Jim and Tonic is a simple yet sophisticated expression of a classic. All signature cocktails are competitively priced at AED 69. There is also an extensive grape list that’s rooted in French and Italian wines.
And setting the tone for a night of drinks and Mediterranean fare are tunes curated by Barrat’s father Gérald, who has been a renowned DJ on the French nightclub scene since the 1980s. The bar’s music policy is simple – if it’s good it’s going to get played. Gérald, aka meSSieurG, will be regularly seen behind the decks on the UFO-inspired DJ booth that takes pride of place after the bar. At the end of the day, Ergo wants to share its mantra with like-minded people who want to escape life for a few hours and have fun. “Do what you love and embrace the things that make you feel happy or special, that’s really what Ergo is about,” says Barrat. Ergo is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm to 2am.
DSCVR: Ergo, The Dubai EDITION, Dubai Fountain Street, Downtown Dubai, Dubai (04 554 2456). @ergo.dubai