Bar Americano – possibly Melbourne’s smallest bar – has recently signed leading European bartender Jakob Etzold as head bartender. “Jakob joins us from Berlin’s famous Stagger Lee Bar,” said Bar Americano owner Matthew Bax (also the owner of the award winning Der Raum, Melbourne). “He was the head bartender from Stagger’s inception, and he drove the concept and classic drink program for which it is now world renowned.”Bax is hoping to tap into Jakob’s talent for the ‘classic drinks’ which is something he sees as well suited to Bar Americano’s style and philosophy. “Jakob’s fascination and expertise for classically crafted cocktails is a perfect fit for Bar Americano,” said Bax. “We sought someone with ‘American Bar ‘ experience, well versed in classic cocktail skills and service, that one can only find in Europe.” Bax is adamant that at the moment only Europe produces bartenders who know and understand the intricacies of this sort of drinks service. “In our opinion the best American Bars and staff are currently in Germany. We headhunted Etzold for close to a year to secure his services and we are delighted with his start at Bar Americano.” Stagger Lee Bar recently bagged Mixxology magazine’s prize of Bar of the Year 2012, no doubt thanks to Etzold’s influence. So it will be soon seen what sort of influence this star European bartender will have on Bax’s latest haunt.