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Henry Besant (died March 14, 2013) started in the service industry at the age of 16. In 1993 he opened Mas Café in Notting Hill, which he ran for four years before becoming director and general manager of private members club, 57 Jermyn Street.
In 2003 Besant became the only venue manager to win back-to-back Time Out bar of the year awards when his new project, Lonsdale Bar, was the recipient of the 2004 gong. The accolades start to flood in with Henry winning Class magazine (2003) and Flava magazine (2004) best new bar, with both magazines also naming him bar manager of the year in 2005.
Whilst working at Lonsdale, Henry formed Worldwide Cocktail Club with fellow bartender Dre Masso. Worldwide Cocktail Club was a drinks industry consultancy specializing in bartender training and education as well as some on-trade strategies for various beverage brands. The company were responsible for numerous bar projects such as All Star Lanes, Ronnie Scott’s, Bungalow 8 and Alfred’s Club as well as their own project Green & Red, a Mexican Cocktail Bar and Restaurant. Worldwide Cocktail Club also worked on strategies for Don Julio, Wyborowa, Beefeater and Ocean Spray Cranberry.
Besant was the co-creator of Olmeca Altos, a premium 100% agave Tequila. Altos has won multiple awards including gold and silver medals at the 2012 San Francisco world spirit competition, 2011 Ultimate Cocktail Challenge (Winner), 2012 Drinks International Long Drink (Gold Medal) and 2012 Drinks International Supreme Champion (Best Overall Drink).
On March 14, 2013 Besant died following a heart attack on the London Underground two weeks earlier.
Bars and restaurants
- Mas Café
- 57 Jermyn Street
- St Martins Lane & Sanderson Hoyls
- Hilton’s Trafalgar Hotel
- Lonsdale Bar
- Green & Red
- TimeOut magazine’s ‘Bar of the Year’ Award for two consecutive years (2002 + 2003)
- ‘Best new Bar’ by Class magazine (2003) and Flava magazine (2004)
- ‘Bar manager of the year’ by Class magazine and Flava magazine (2005)