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THE EIGHT EDITIONS of the World’s 50 Best Bars behind us, it’s worth highlighting those that have consistently proven their excellence over the years. This league – which will keep running as long as we create the World’s 50 Best Bars lists – we call Legends of the List.
As of 2016, there are only three bars with uninterrupted presence in The World’s 50 Best Bars. All hail Employees Only and PDT from New York and Black Pearl from Melbourne – to be named in the pantheon of best bars eight years straight is a special achievement.
While these three venues have steadfastly maintained their greatness, we have seen many others come and go – in total 171 bars have featured across the eight lists.
Employees Only is this year’s Legend of the List, taking the no.1 spot from last year’s Legend PDT. But let’s explain how we rank the bars in this league. We use a formula that assigns one point for appearing in one of the World’s 50 Best Bars lists, plus a bonus that tracks ranking. So even though Artesian has finished first on four occasions and third on another, its failure to make the list in 2009, 2010 and 2016 means it only has points from its five appearances. This leaves Artesian outside the Legends of the List league in 12th position.
Employees Only has finished 26th, 8th, 15th, 11th, 12th, 5th, 4th and this year 7th, which means it narrowly outscores PDT (4th, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 13th, 18th, 37th, 45th) and Black Pearl (11th, 13th, 10th, 17th, 7th, 37th, 10th, 22nd).
The number of bars with perfect records was whittled down this year, after two big names fell out of the hat. Barcelona’s Dry Martini (30th, 26th, 12th, 19th, 14th, 34th and 42nd) and Le Lion (21st, 42nd, 35th, 23rd, 16th, 25th and 19th) had made seven lists on the bounce before falling short this year. They have been leapfrogged by another seven-list bar, The Connaught, which might count itself unlucky to be in fourth – it hadn’t been open long when the first iteration of The World’s 50 Best Bars launched. Since 2010, its record reads 11th, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 11th, 9th and 4th. With such high rankings, it is edging closer to the bars with eight listings.
Edinburgh’s Bramble lies fifth in our league. Having dropped out of the 50 in 2015, it has bounced back with a 47th-place.