After months of anticipation, Ergo by Jimmy Barrat has opened its doors for the first time. The bartender-led concept is the brainchild of Jimmy himself, who is a global bar industry leader and was formerly the Global Bar Development Director for Zuma restaurants.
Ergo – meaning “therefore” in Latin has a philosophical thread and as the famous French Philosopher René Descartes once said; “Cogito, ergo sum”. “I think, therefore I am”.
Located at the Dubai EDITION, Ergo brings to life all the touches and elements that a leading bar should have, but it is the approach to ambience, feeling, and philosophy that gives it its unique edge. The spirit and energy of the venue have been carefully curated by Jimmy himself. “It is a passion project,” says Jimmy. “I finally have the independence and freedom to bring to life my own vision of what a bar means to me. It’s a very exciting time for me and the Ergo team. We’re going to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously.”
INTERIORS / VIBE – Jimmy has worked with the up-and-coming architecture & interior design team “Standpartners” who have bases in Ibiza and Milan, to craft the aura of the venue. Upon arrival guests will be welcomed with the artistic flair that Jimmy is renowned for when they are met with words describing the feeling of Ergo, which have been painted by Milanese calligraphy artist Luca Barcellona. After the arrival, Jimmy’s expressions continue throughout, and guests will notice that his input and creativity is not only found in a glass with ice at Ergo.
As guests move from the dining lounge facing the open kitchen, the mood shifts to a more energetic vibe as by turning the corner the bar area is revealed. As the first bartender-led experience in Dubai, guests will come through the dining area to get to the bar, thus flipping the traditional F&B hierarchy on its head. In a restaurant, one usually goes through the bar to get to the dining area, but this is a bar, by bartenders, for everyone.
Modernity is in the minimalism of the space with the Kintsugi cracked concrete walls, black Marquina marble bar top, stainless steel touchpoints, and the Palladiana stone floors. There is no wood to be found at all in the front-of-house areas. Alongside the venue’s urban chic and hard furnishings, there is a balance and warmth found through the seductive leather banquets and beautiful lighting. Dotted around the venue are the uber retro bowl lamp shades designed by the Danish designer Verner Panton. The venue has an overwhelming retro urbanity that is blended with a neo-futuristic sensibility. It is a design-led and modern venue that is instantly timeless.
DINING / SERVICE – Food is an important part of Ergo and the borderless Mediterranean menu has been designed to be an epicurean experience that sits neatly alongside the bar program. The food menu is also a nod to Jimmy’s upbringing on the French Riviera. Signatures include the Yellowfin Tuna Pan Bagnat, Beef Tartare on Petits Toasts, and the Mediterranean Octopus with Braised Chicory. Guests can book to dine by the kitchen or enjoy on the numerous cocktail tables, the bar counter, or the lounge seating in the core space. A spacious urban terrace with 40 seats overlooking the hustle of the Dubai Mall Boulevard will be an airy spot to dine al fresco in the winter months. Service is friendly and casual but polished.
DRINKS / BAR – The bar itself creates the tempo at Ergo and the stellar team in place is well equipped to deliver effortless execution of signature drinks. The central station – designed by Jimmy – has been neatly made bespoke for the venue with adaptable “beehive” sections which reflects the buzz of a busy hub. The 6 tap draught station does not pour beer, but rather flows cocktails allowing the bartenders to focus on guest interaction and creating a vibe.
Drinking in bars should be a fun experience and the Ergo team has been reworking some forgotten originals – like the Appletini – to lighten the mood and bring a smile back to the bar industry. The cocktail menu is cheeky, innovative, nostalgic, and fun. Guests will find the signature Mr. Pink cocktail laced with Malibu for example, while the Jim and Tonic is a simple yet sophisticated expression of a classic. All signature cocktails are competitively priced at AED 69 which makes choosing your Ergo signature even harder.
There is also an extensive wine list that has been lovingly constructed for wine-lovers and novices alike. With a focus on French and Italian wines, the vintages and labels on offer at Ergo have a superb range for all tastes and occasions.
MUSIC ATMOSPHERE – Drinks are very important, yet a warm, familiar, and progressive ambience is paramount at Ergo, that’s part of the philosophy. The music program is gleefully curated by Jimmy’s father Gérald, who has been a renowned DJ on the leading French nightclub scene since the 1980’s. The music policy is simple and eclectic – if it’s good it’s going to get played. Gérald, aka meSSieurG, will be regularly seen behind the decks on the elevated UFO-inspired DJ booth that takes pride of place after the bar.
With its retro sensibilities, industry-leading team, fun approach to drinks, and a deep and meaningful interior focus with a dedication to the atmosphere, the Ergo philosophy has arrived. As a bar, it wants to share its mantra with like-minded people who want to escape life for a few hours and have fun. Jimmy says; “Do what you love and embrace the things that make you feel happy or special, that’s really what Ergo is about.”
The Ergo bar and kitchen is open Tuesday – Sunday, from 6pm to 2am. Booking is advisable. Dress code is; be yourself. It’s a philosophy.