Savoy Appoints First Female Head Bartender in 95 Years

Savoy hotel’s American Bar was run by its first female head bartender in 1903. During her nearly two-decade reign, Ada “Coley” Coleman created classic cocktails like the Hanky Panky. The renowned London institution has not had a female head bartender since.

Nearly a century later, Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar welcomes a woman in charge once again as it reopens. Shannon Tebay is not only the first woman in 95 years to hold this prestigious position but also the first American.

Previously the head bartender at Death & Co., a cocktail bar in Manhattan's East Village, Tebay said she is thrilled to become the American Bar's 13th head bartender.

She said it was long overdue that a woman filled the role and hoped her appointment would pave the way for progression and inclusivity.

Tebay will be joining the historical ranks of Coleman and the bar's first known head bartender Frank Wells, Joe Gilmore, who invented the Moonwalk cocktail, and Erik Lorincz, who created the Pioneer.

Tebay hopes to represent other women in the industry and other underrepresented voices and demographics by diversifying their staff during her role. She also wanted to make operations more sustainable.

All seriousness aside, Tebay also wants visitors to have fun. She hopes to honour the traditions and history of the bar whilst creating a contemporary and innovative menu.