GN Chan, co-founder of Double Chicken Please in New York, USA, has been named the winner of Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2023.
This prestigious award is voted for by the bartenders on this year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, who put forward the name of one of their peers who pushes the limits of what it means to be a great bartender. The award goes to a personality who made a significant impact in the global bar sector over the voting period and recognises their commitment to the international community in that time. This is the second of two special awards to be announced ahead of the live awards ceremony on Tuesday 17 October 2023 in Singapore.
An industrial designer by training and a former street magician, GN Chan embarked on his bartending journey by complete accident with no prior experience or knowledge. Soon after falling in love with mixology, he left his native Taiwan for New York on a mission to master his craft, honing his skills and winning numerous accolades.
In 2017, GN and his business partner Faye Chen set off in a modified bright yellow 1977 Volkswagen minibus, hosting unique cocktail and dining experiences across the country. The pair quickly garnered an outstanding reputation for their innovative overlap of cuisine and mixology, complete with tongue-in-cheek cocktail names, before setting up a permanent bar, Double Chicken Please, on New York’s Lower East Side, in 2020.
Despite numerous pandemic-related closures, the dual-concepts bar quickly grew national and international recognition for its unique “hacking design” concept and its daily pre-opening queues, in large part to GN Chan’s unwavering hospitality as well as the intriguing design. The bustling, noreservations front room is casual and fast-paced, offering enticing Taiwanese influenced fried chicken sandwiches and an engaging list of seasonal creative ‘Taptails’ set against concrete and exposed brick walls. By contrast, the wood-panelled and moody interior of ‘The Coop’ serves a lively, complex menu that playfully reimagines cocktails and dishes, an unconventional interpretation of a typical cocktail experience. Dramatic spotlights draw the eye to the central bar accentuated by whimsical artworks underpinning the unerring sense of fun that permeate the Double Chicken Please concept.
In just a few short years, Double Chicken Please has achieved international acclaim thanks to Chan, Chen and the team’s achievements. In 2022, it stormed into the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars at No.6, winning the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award, before being named The Best Bar in North America at this year’s edition of North America’s 50 Best Bars.
On winning the award, GN Chan says: “I am extremely humbled and grateful to be named Altos Bartenders’ Bartender. I would like to dedicate this recognition to Team DCP, who I work and hustle with day to day. It is only together that we have achieved many things we never thought we would be able to, daring to dream big and bigger every day. This recognition serves as motivation, driving our determination to continue progressing and fuelling our enthusiasm to share and expand within our beloved community. I have nothing but gratitude from receiving this honour from my peers. Thank you for being the giants, and for letting us stand on your shoulders.”
The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award was introduced to The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2017 and the inaugural winner was Iain Griffiths of London’s Dandelyan. Subsequent winners include Joe Schofield, then of Tippling Club in Singapore, won in 2018; Monica Berg of Tayēr + Elementary, London, in 2019; Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni, of Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, in 2020; Lynnette Marrero of Llama Inn, New York, in 2021; and Jean Trinh of Alquímico, Cartagena, Colombia in 2022.
The countdown of the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023, sponsored by Perrier, will also be broadcast live to a global audience who are not able to attend in person. Bars and cocktail lovers are invited to join through The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook page and 50 Best Bars TV channel on YouTube.