29,307 days after prohibition ended, The Bootlegger Family opened their doors in their first bar on Gloucester Road in Bristol. Since then the family have carried on its journey heading west, opening its doors at the top of Womanby Street in Cardiff, back to where the minds who conceived the idea grew up.
This month we chatted to owner and founder, Lee Miller, on his life in the industry, the Bootlegger family and the post-prohibition experience thousands of people enjoy in the centre of Cardiff each week.
Lee lives and breathes bars and nightlife. Having worked in and run some standout London bars as well as owned his own successful bar in New York for 5 years before setting up the Bootlegger with his brother, Lee truly loves the bar life along with blues, swing, jazz, the 50's and 60's era and Rock n Roll.
Today, The Bootlegger in Cardiff is the second site they own, is no.1 bar on TripAdvisor for Cardiff and they plan to expand to 23 sites by 2023. Ambitious and gregarious Lee is tenacious in his approach - it's all about the customer's experience, the party atmosphere and drinking amazing cocktails at amazing prices. Bar tenders chat to customers during service, there's no cleaning or pulling pints and forgetting about the person on the other side of the bar during service, they're encouraged to walk outside of the bar and to sit down and chat to customers too.
The two bars offer a dizzying menu of cocktails, from the highly desired Espresso Martini to a Victoria Sponge cocktail and everything in between. If you would like a roast lamb or lucozade martini they will make you one. "There's no pretentiousness here, just a wealth of experience that can create hundreds of cocktails."
As the new Peaky Blinders series hits our TV screens, The Bootlegger have launched their own themed night in honour with some cracking cocktails to suit. Watch this video, then why not head on down and try it yourself.
The Bootlegger's cocktail menu is a functional prohibition newspaper - The Bootlegger Times. Designed to inform a little about the era of prohibition, a list of the bar's popular cocktails, a page of each bartender's own creations and then a dessert cocktail page, it shows the range of cocktails available. It also helps support local businesses and suppliers that the bar works with. There's space for each business to express themselves and advertise their company, with emphasis placed on local produce supplied by local people. For example, the fruit for all cocktails is sourced from Sullivan's across the road.
To finish, Lee let us know why he chooses to work with us, Nectar.
" I've always been a fan of Nectar because I look for service in any company. The big thing for me is that we get the service we require and believe it or not, you don't always get that from a lot of places.
Nectar are the right people I want associated with my brand. It has the same outlook, same similar ideas that I have - plus a wide range of products. Nectar has an incredible range.
I know what I want, Dave works well with me so I'm happy. We're all about the people, working together. Both we and Nectar stand out."