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Camden Cocktail Academy launches to ‘inspire confidence’

The team behind Lockside Lounge and Café Chula in Camden, north London has launched the Camden Cocktail Academy to help shape future bartenders and “inspire confidence across the industry”.

The academy aims to educate those looking to start a career in hospitality, or to give businesses a helping hand with staff training by conducting courses in the site’s fully-functioning bar, which allows students to deal with customers and react in real-life situations.

The courses, which span from three days to four weeks, are directed by Mario Sandgren, who has worked in bars and restaurants including Soho House, Hakkasan and the Rum Kitchen in London.

He said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be involved in regulating what is going to be the most interesting flow of bar staff we’ve seen in the last 10 years”

Exceptional ‘graduates’ are awarded a bar blade engraved with their status as a ‘Camden Cocktail Academy certified Gun’.

Camden Cocktail Academy managing director Dan Conchie said: “I know first-hand how hard it is to source top-quality bar staff, and saw this as an opportunity to launch a bar school whose qualification would inspire confidence across the industry.”

Training and education is provided not only for first-timers and amateurs but for managers, owners, operators and bar groups looking to hone their skills and knowledge, and can be personalised to the specific needs of a business.

The full spectrum includes bartending, health and safety, spirit, beer and wine knowledge, as well as coffee and service, while still focusing on tradecraft and standards.