La Factoría’s sixth-anniversary celebration can best be described as such: two nights, ten guests and lots of memories.
The Puerto Rican bar that has been recognized for four consecutive years amongst The World's 50 Best Bars, commemorated its sixth year on April 19th and 20th with their international cocktail festival which has now become an established tradition in Old San Juan.
On the first night of this momentous occasion, La Factoría hosted five of Puerto Rico’s most prominent cocktail bars followed by five international guests its second night, each working simultaneous Guest Shifts throughout all of La Factoría’s bars. True to the Facto fashion, the festivities combined a perfect mix of cocktails with live music and DJs, giving rise to the distinct vibe and ambiance of each space.
“We at La Factoría, being a cornerstone of mixology in Puerto Rico, are proud to host our Puerto Rican industry family to celebrate our growth and achievements within the international gastronomic industry. We feel a great responsibility in showing the world that beyond La Factoría, in Puerto Rico lies an ever-growing and vibrant cocktail scene composed of seriously talented individuals,” explained Leslie Cofresí, co-founder of La Factoría.
On the Friday of April 19th, local guests included bartenders from Santaella, Bar La Unidad, La Penúltima, Timber & Blues, and JungleBird. The celebration continued on Saturday, April 20th, with Guest Shifts by various international bars: from Argentina, Florería Atlántico was present, Lost & Found represented Cyprus joined from Paris, France. Making their way to the Caribbean representing the city of Beirut was Central Station , along with the crew from Two Schmucks via Spain.
“When we’ve had the opportunity to travel to other countries to share knowledge, techniques, and culture we’ve been received with the utmost warmth. We’ve learned a lot from these trips. Now it’s once again Puerto Rico’s turn to share with our guests among family, friends, colleagues and fellow staff who we are and what Puerto Rico is about,” added La Factoría’s co-founder, Roberto Berdecia.
An Artful Affair
To the La Factoría team, it is continuously important to celebrate the artistic richness that has historically been a part of Old San Juan. In that spirit, they’ve commissioned this year’s commemorative art to local artist, Elizabeth Barreto. “We see the value in artists of all levels ranging from the academic to established artists who have their workshops based in Old San Juan; this is our way of paying tribute to the characters who live here day to day and the elements that characterize it. Because of this and her particular trajectory, we commissioned this year’s artwork to our friend and artist Elizabeth,” mentioned Cofresí.
Many reasons to celebrate
The last twelve months has marked plenty of prideful milestones for La Factoría giving cause for great celebration. As recently as March the establishment became the first Puerto Rican bar to be nominated for Best Bar Program by the James Beard Foundation. Last summer, it was the only Latin American representation among the four finalists for High Volume Cocktail Bar in Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards 2018 and in October, for its fourth consecutive year, they were re-confirmed amongst The World’s 50 Best Bars possessing the 36th place.
“Celebrating six years filled with at one time unimaginable professional triumphs while facing some of the most daunting challenges we’ve seen as a country fills us with pride and joy. We are a reflection of the resilience of an entire gastronomic industry that does not back down and which each passing is ever more present within the global stage,” concluded Cofresí.