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Putting themselves on the MAP: The Rise of Haggerston's MAP Maison

Two years ago we started to work with MAP Maison in Haggerston when no one knew them from Adam. So we feel especially proud to have seen their rise in popularity and the cult status they have today amongst whisky and cocktail connoisseurs.

MAP Maison co-owner Joseph has a background in hospitality, and first came up with the MAP concept before launching the business with his partner and co-owner Cecilia.

He wanted to create a classic cocktail bar combined with a hotel which represented a home away from home. Somewhere relaxing, with great drinks and food, with different cultures from around the world mixing in one place

The ‘Maison’ in the name referenced the ‘home away from home’ idea. The venue opened in December 2015 and immediately impressed with its chic tapas-style, savoury afternoon teas combined with high-energy cocktail vibes in the evening.

“Nobody else in the Haggerston area was offering this” Joseph told us. ‘Map Maison afternoon tea’ is now the venue’s most searched term, even before cocktails or whisky.

“People travel from all over the country to come for afternoon tea, and word of mouth is the reason why”. 

MAP Maison has also become known as one of the top destinations for Japanese whisky in the country. Joseph proudly explained that the extension of the front of their bar was solely to accommodate some new private cabinets for guests (where they can store bottles bought from the menu) as well as more shelf space for their growing Japanese whisky selection – including multiple bottlings from closed distilleries Karuizawa and Hanyu.

Being a Japanese whisky focused bar was the never the idea; the concept was always “all spirits with a varied, premium and high-end range for each”. But with Japanese whisky’s popularity soaring, MAP Maison saw it is a hot category to develop and a major point of differentiation.  

The MAP Maison are especially proud of their masterclasses. With space for eight guests at a time, these take place three times a day (four on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), seven days a week, with the majority of these sold out until the end of the year.

Their cocktail menu is linked to their newest concept: MAP Lab. With high-end cocktails a massive focus for the bar (usually twists on classics), guests asking for the recipes so they could replicate them at home prompted them to start MAP Lab.

MAP Lab is a collection of 14 pre-bottled cocktails from their menu which can all be bought in the bar and taken away.

Joseph and Cecilia are well and truly making a name for themselves in East London and are successfully building the MAP brand. Watch this space for their second venue, MAP Uchi (Japanese for home), on the horizon for 2020.