Harry’s Bar: a story of hospitality and freedom

Cipriani Drinks was created to bring the Harry’s Bar experience everywhere, a place destined to forever redefine the concept of hospitality. A space designed to welcome, in which a single rule applies: to serve is to love.

Praise to Reception

There is spirit and there are things
We imagine a world of only objects
A world of immobile tools
A restaurant made only of tables and chairs
A large empty theatre
A deserted square in summer
We just have to ask for the help of man
The service of man to give life to things.

Because serving is above all loving.


Venice, 1931

The origins of Harry’s Bar

At the end of the 1920s, Giuseppe Cipriani was a barman at the Europa Hotel in Venice. Here stayed a young American, Harry Pickering, who was in Italy with an aunt to cure himself from alcoholism. Following a quarrel with his aunt, Harry is left alone in Venice, penniless. It was Giuseppe Cipriani who helped him get home, lending him money. And so it was that a few years later, Harry returned to Venice and paid off his debt to Giuseppe Cipriani, saying:

“Giuseppe, thank you, here’s the money. As a token of my gratitude, I add this: an additional amount needed to open up a bar in town.”

It was at this moment that Giuseppe decided: “We’ll call it Harry’s Bar.”


The legend of Harry’s Bar

True luxury lies in simplicity, and what is simple is free from impositions. Harry’s Bar was born in a former rope warehouse, in a 5 by 9 metre room, where everything is designed to suits its guests: from the furniture to the fabrics, from the temperature of the room to the cutlery and glassware. The form of Harry’s Bar is at the service of the room’s contents, and the contents provide an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else.


Harry’s Bar friends

Harry’s Bar is also known throughout the world for the extraordinary personalities who have populated its tables, from the first half of the 20TH century to today. Friends of Harry’s Bar include Ernest Hemingway, who was a regular customer and close friend of Giuseppe Cipriani, to many great names in the artistic and literary scene including Georges Braque, Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Peggy Guggenheim and Orson Welles, to name a few.

“I can’t know which is the best restaurant in the world, because I haven’t been lucky enough to visit them all. But I can tell you one thing. There is a restaurant where I have always felt at home: Harry’s Bar in Venice”.