Dry seems at first to be a curious name for a cocktail bar, but we can explain. Firstly, the Milan hangout is employing a little Italian irony, recalling the days of Prohibition America when clandestine speakeasies first became popular. A quick glance at the array of spirits festooning the glittering bar reveals this venue to be anything but booze-free. Secondly, it’s an esoteric reference to “the dry principle” – a software development philosophy that advocates stripped back code without unnecessary repetition. So there you have it.
Stripped back is certainly the way hospitality think-tank food.different’s interior architect Tiziano Vudafieri has gone with Dry Milano. This is cocktails and pizza with all the fashionable vintage-era bar business (apart from a few classic drinks recipes) chucked in the skip. The front of house drinking area is particularly sparse – you don’t even get wallpaper, and the specials are written on the concrete walls. There are, at least, some nice stools to perch on while you imbibe, and even a front row window seat for those who like to see and be seen. To the rear some aesthetic concessions are made to the space’s function as a dining area, and you can enjoy Simone Lombardi’s pizzas in relative extravangance – tables, chairs, glasses and cutlery are all provided. Decoration is provided by video installations curated by art centre Peep-Hole. Dry by name, refreshingly different by nature.