07 / 2013
|12:30pm — 2:00pm||The Pineapple, a Symbol of Hospitality||Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone||Jake Burger, Dean Callan|
“Jake grew up in the humble surroundings: The Yorkshire mill town of Leeds, in the North of England and after a childhood spent swimming in canals and stealing apples he promptly began his bartending career the day after his 18th birthday. Ike’s Bistro was at this time the only cocktail bar in town.
In the years that followed Jake was one of the driving forces in establishing Leeds as a noted destination city in England for both cocktail aficionado’s and fans of a drunken night. Jake was responsible for running the bar at such well loved Leeds haunts of the past as Indie Joze, MPV and The Townhouse and spent a memorable period as a workaday bartender in legendary Leeds Rock N Roll bar Mojo.
During these years Jake cemented his reputation as one of the leading lights of the English bar scene and collected no small amount of victories on the competition scene, including the infamous Smirnoff Penka £10 000 diamond, which he keeps hidden in his sock drawer to this day.
In 2004 Jake joined forces with successful Leeds bar operator, and founder of Leelex Ltd, Ged Feltham and opened Jake’s Bar & Grill on Call Lane, right in the heart of Leeds independent bar scene. Jakes was an instant hit and garnered much critical acclaim in the years that followed and is by now considered something of an institution. But the bright lights of the capital beckoned and in 2007 Jake moved to London to open The Portobello Star, which was by that time the third Leelex operation. The Portobello Star continued the vane of success that had been enjoyed by Jakes and quickly became a regular haunt of the London bartending community and a regular stop off in London for well travelled bon vivant’s. The Star continues to be one of the best loved bars in London despite being in a state of perpetual collapse.
In the years since then Leelex has grown to a small family of six diverse bars and restaurants and in 2011 they diversified even farther by launching Portobello Road Gin and The London Ginstitute.
Jake, a keen amateur drinks historian, self confessed fact geek and “consumate host” (thank you Maestro Calabrese) is now occupied in his role of Gin Instructor at Notting Hills famous Ginstitute, above The Portobello Star, where he runs the nightly classes, spreading knowledge about gin to the masses of consumers who flock there and travels the country, and indeed the World, helping build the Portobello Road Gin brand to both the drink trade and to discerning imbibers around the World.
Jakes favourite Pineapple drink is the Large Hadron Colada.”