27 June 2023 – Multi-hyphenate Beckaly Franks, the co-founder of Hong Kong bars The Pontiac, Call Me Al, Ponty Cafeě and Artifact, has been named the winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2023. Bartender and serial hospitality entrepreneur Franks has been recognised for her significant impact on Asia’s bar sector over the course of her career. The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award is the only peer-judged award in Asia’s 50 Best Bars programme, collectively voted for by the bartenders of those establishments which have placed on the 2023 list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars.
The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award is the second of two special awards to be announced ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony, sponsored by Perrier, which will take place in Hong Kong on 18 July 2023. Hosted in collaboration with destination partner Hong Kong Tourism Board, this year’s awards are expected to be the first full-scale gathering of the bar community in Asia since 2019.
Mark Sansom, Content Director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says: “Beckaly is truly an inspiration to her peers for the work she does and the support she gives to the Hong Kong hospitality scene. A highly skilled bartender, serial entrepreneur, mentor to many and champion of inclusivity, Beckaly can be credited for creating her own very distinct brand and is regarded as something of a legend in the world of great cocktails. Since moving from the US, she has called Hong Kong home for over eight years and has in this relatively short span become one of the most recognised faces and respected talents in Asia’s bar community. She is truly deserving of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award”.
She has since opened several venues, each distinguished by its unique character, yet all unified in their commitment to inclusivity and delivering exceptional guest experiences. Her company Hungry Ghost (created in collaboration with her wife, Ezra Star) includes the neighborhood restaurant-bar Call Me Al, an all-day cafe bar, Ponty Cafeě and Artifact, a subterranean space that focuses on aged spirits and has a chef-driven counter dining journey.
Franks holds the distinction of being regarded as a mentor by numerous bar talents in Hong Kong, having dedicated several years to the training and advancement of bartenders within the region. Carlos Andreěs Ramiěrez, Head of Global Advocacy & PR House of Tequila-Pernod Ricard, says: “Since the creation of Altos Tequila and the Tahona Society, we have been supporting the bartender community in different career opportunities, welfare and networking initiatives. Congratulations to Beckaly Franks for winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award – we can’t think of a more deserving award than this one to recognise her career.”
The eighth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, will be unveiled on 18 July 2023 at an in-person awards ceremony in Hong Kong. The live countdown will also be streamed on The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube Channel.