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The. Best. Bar. In. Puerto. Rico.


It’s no exaggeration to say that the opening of La Factoría in the spring of 2013 marked the beginning of Puerto Rico’s cocktail renaissance. Inhabiting a quirky and cavernous space in Old San Juan, it continues to be the epicenter of craft cocktails not only on the islands, but increasingly the mainland and even the world. It’s no coincidence that when Tales of the Cocktail needed a location for Tales on Tour 2019, they chose San Juan.


We sit down with Roberto Berdecia, one of the co-founders of La Factoría and later Jungle Bird (which we also visit) to discuss the early days, his process for creating new cocktails, and his plans for the future of bartending in Puerto Rico.


Details and awards:


LA FACTORÍA

-Opened in April 20, 2013

-Founders: Pablo Rodríguez, Leslie Cofresí & Roberto Berdecia

-World 50 Best Bars 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

-James Beard Foundation Awards 2019 Semifinalists - Outstanding Bar Program

-Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2018 Top 4 Finalists - High Volume Cocktail Bar

-Resident live salsa band: La 51


ROBERTO BERDECIA

-World Class Puerto Rico 2011

-Bartender of the Year 2018 by International Rum Congress


LESLIE COFRESÍ

-World Class Puerto Rico 2012


JUNGLE BIRD*

-Opened September 23, 2016

-Founders: Leslie Cofresí & Roberto Berdecia

-Partner: Jose “Chuck” Rivera

-Best New Chef 2019 by Food & Wine: Paxx Caraballo Moll


*Jungle Bird is not a tiki bar. It is a “tropical bar.” Caribbean and Polynesian influences were used as the inspiration for tiki culture. Jungle Bird is a celebration of those original influences, specifically as they relate to Puerto Rico—a group of islands in the Caribbean.

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