Giacomo Giannotti’s vision has turned his Paradiso bar into the best in the world


The most avant-garde cities on the planet have a secret bar, and Barcelona is among them, hiding within its many charms one of the best bars in the world.

In the narrow streets of the old Born neighbourhood, sits a modest pastrami sandwich shop, which we promise is much more than it pretends to be.

Who would have thought that only a fridge door separates us from heaven?

In this third episode of Visions, we want to offer you a sip of the Dalí-style speakeasy winner of the World’s 50 Bests Bars 2022. Through the words of Giacomo Giannotti, creator and founder of Paradiso, we reveal the visionary idea that made it number one.

Find out how to walk through the doors of Paradiso:

What is the vision behind Paradiso?

My dream was to create a cocktail bar where hospitality and closeness to customers could be combined with a creative, innovative and experimental cocktail style. All coming together in an incredible environment, with a unique design and ambience.

This is the idea behind Paradiso: to create a comfortable place, where the customer can feel at home, in an environment open to experimentation. In our bar the cocktails are very creative and we aim to surprise with proposals never seen before, curated in every detail to offer our customers an unforgettable experience.

Paradiso is a speakeasy concept. Where the real experience starts from the outside: walking down the street, all you see is a pastrami sandwich shop with little more than a bar, two stools and a fridge. But, when you open the fridge door, a curtain opens like in a theatre and takes you to another world: a wooden ceiling envelops you, accompanying you in the trendiest speakeasy cocktail bar in Barcelona. Here, welcomed by the vibe and hospitality of the bartenders and the team, you can try our gastronomic offer, which we serve both on the terrace and inside the cocktail bar.

¿What is the Macallan room?

At Paradiso we like surprises! Inside we have another even more hidden room and the entrance is left for you to discover.

The Macallan is a room completely covered in copper, simulating a distilling still. Thanks to its different atmosphere, the room can accommodate a maximum of 15 people and consists of an oval table in the middle of which the barman is preparing his cocktails, while all the customers are seated around it. What we want to emphasize here the ad hoc service for each client.

How did Paradiso come into being?

The name of the bar is a tribute to my family who own a gelateria, Gelateria Paradiso, in Marina di Carrara, Tuscany. This is where I grew up and where my siblings and I worked to help my parents in the family business.

In the ice cream parlour there is a small bar where classic Italian cocktails are served, such as the negroni or the spritz. This is where my passion for catering, my love for being in contact with people and my curiosity for mixing ingredients, textures and flavours was born.

This is where I became passionate about bartending. But, once I finished my studies at the hotel school near my home, I knew that if I wanted to dedicate myself to this job at a professional level I had to learn English. So in my early twenties I moved to London, the bartending capital of the world, where I stayed for four years, working in various places and perfecting my bartending skills.

Two very important places for my professional training were undoubtedly the Eclipse Cocktail Bar and Be at One in London. But, being from Tuscany, after four years the London climate started taking a toll on me, so I decided to move to sunny Barcelona.

Once in Barcelona, I fell in love with the city, its Mediterranean climate and its incredible gastronomic culture. Here I worked first at the Eclipse Bar at the W Hotel in Barcelona and then at the Ohla Boutique Bar, where I met my mentor, Giuseppe Santamaria, who taught me the art of mixology.

This season I also participated in and won the World Class Competition, one of the most important cocktail competitions in the world. This is how people first got to know me and it is in Barcelona where I met the people who are now my partners in this project.

It was with them that, in December 2015, I opened Paradiso and managed to transform my dream of opening my own cocktail bar into reality.

What is the element that makes Paradiso bar stand out from the crowd?

What sets Paradiso apart from other cocktail bars is the experience we give our customers. This "wow" factor accompanies every customer from the moment they decide to enter a pastrami shop, not knowing what awaits them.

At Paradiso we offer a complete experience, both on a mixology level - with new techniques, innovative garnishes and unexpected presentations - and on a human level: the treatment of the client is at the base of our work and this is also reflected in the ambience, the atmosphere and the design of the place.

All of this means that anyone who steps through the doors of our bar can have an incredible experience and this is what has led us to win the World's 50 Best Bars award in 2022.

What are the keys to winning the World's 50 Bests Bars?

There are several keys to winning the award as the best bar in the world. Being in the list of the 50 best bars in the world and being number one means having several qualities and all of them always at the top. The creativity, the cocktails, the concept, the service, the cleanliness, all the details that make your place what it is, must always be taken care of at the highest level.

This is the key to success: a lot of work!

?Watch the third episode of Visions?

What makes Paradiso's gastronomic offer so unique?

For Paradiso, both creativity and the cocktail menu are the most important part. 

In order to be able to always provide each client with creative and original cocktails, we change our gastronomic offer every year, always focusing on different concepts. We try to push our creativity.

For example, the 2022 menu was focused on key moments in the history of mankind. Once the concept is chosen, we let ourselves be inspired by it as we develop each cocktail, ingredient and tableware. Everything surrounding the creation of the cocktail is studied and chosen with the utmost detail.

Is this the main focus of Paradiso Lab?

For the last three years, Paradiso has had a research lab where we have been looking for and testing new production techniques and developing our creativity.

Paradiso Lab is a research & development centre where three people currently work: Aurora, who is in charge of the liquid part, and Matteo and Riccardo, two chefs who work on the decorations, the solid part of Paradiso's cocktails.

Both are chefs who have a background in haute cuisine restaurants and bring their knowledge of cooking to the world of cocktails, working on the solid part, that is, the bespoke garnishes created for each cocktail.

They, along with the team of bartenders, work to offer new cocktails and incredible experiences to our customers every year.

In the end, it's really the whole team behind the creation of our menus that make them special.

If you had to sum up the qualities needed to become a part of your team, what would they be?

Having a great team and great people behind you are the basis to achieve greatness.

For Paradiso the team is the most important thing, because without a great team you cannot achieve the desired results. Without a doubt, the goals we have achieved are also thanks to them.

At Paradiso, values come first and foremost. That's why, when selecting a candidate, we first look at the person and then at their skills and experience. Because techniques can be taught, but human values cannot.

What is the creative process behind each menu?

At Paradiso, the creative process is a fundamental part of our work. Every year, we organise a series of creative brainstorming sessions with the whole team, lasting approximately two months.

Every two weeks, we get together and talk about ideas that can be transformed into future cocktails. Once we have the idea, on the one hand the bartenders work on the recipe and, on the other hand, the lab works on the techniques and talks with the artisans for the development of new glasses. Each glass is designed specifically for the cocktails it is to accompany and created in collaboration with local artisans.

This process is made up of a lot of trial & error and experimentation. We have to test the techniques, flavours, and tableware so that each idea can be successfully transformed into a new cocktail. This part of the creative process takes about eight months to a year.

Is the physical menu also part of the experience?

The graphic part of the menu is a very important element for us, because that is where the real sensory experience for customers begins. 

The physical menu fully anticipates each new theme that characterises the drinks list, allowing customers to live a complete and immersive experience, involving all the senses. 

Our menus are interactive. The latest one, for example, inspired by human evolution, has a very special drawing and is accompanied by a light that changes colour. This makes some cocktails appear and others disappear from the menu, depending on the light.

What is Paradiso's new vision?


Paradiso has a new vision: to become as sustainable a bar as possible.

One of the values on which Paradiso is based is sustainability. Since we opened our doors in 2015, we have tried to work on ambitious projects to become the ambassadors of sustainability in the sector.

Over the years, the use of plastic within the bar has been almost completely reduced and our aim is now to become a 100% waste-free Cocktail Bar.

That's why in 2022 we created the Zero Waste Lab, a new space where it is possible to recycle the few leftovers left in the bar.

The aim of this initiative is to give a new life to the plastic and organic waste that our bar produces. Therefore, we are investing in the purchase of tools and machines that will be used to process and transform the waste into usable objects in the bar, such as bottle openers, trays, and in general anything that will help us optimise our resources and reduce waste.

In addition, Paradiso has joined the Treedom project, a global initiative to plant trees all over the world and fight deforestation.

At Paradiso, our mission is to be the best version of ourselves every day. For ourselves, for our planet and for others.

As an entrepreneur, what message do you want to convey to new generations, to encourage them to follow their dreams?

The only real advice I can give is what I have learned from my experience: if you have a big dream, you have to work day after day, hours after hours, to achieve it, and you have to do it always with a smile on your face. 

There will be bad times and good times, but you have to keep going, keep your head up and keep going. And, sooner or later, if you continue with enthusiasm, you will achieve your goals.

Cheer up, we are so lucky to be doing the most beautiful job in the world!


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