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Q&A with Harry Roper of The Whiskey Rooms

Harry Roper from The Whiskey Rooms in Worthing (credit Julia Claxton)

In a short time, The Whiskey Rooms has established itself as the go-to cocktail bar in Worthing’s increasingly popular ‘West End’. Nick Mosley asks the questions to bar manager Harry Roper.

Tell us about you…

I’m Harry Roper, aged 26 and manager of The Whiskey Rooms, 142 Montague Street, Worthing. We launched the bar in summer 2019. I’ve previously worked in multiple popular cocktail bars in Brighton including Above Audio and Twisted Lemon. I’ve also seen the industry from the other side having worked for spirit brands including Black Cow vodka and Aluna Coconut rum.

You’re called The Whiskey Rooms so is whiskey your focus?

We have roughly 70 whiskies and price ranges from £4 to £8 for a single measure, although we do get the odd pricier bottle in. But we definitely aren’t just a whiskey bar! Alongside an ever-changing selection of the good stuff, we have draught beer, wine, an extensive cocktail menu and craft beers and ciders. For guests who want a bite, we also offer authentic German hotdogs.

How many on your team and who are they?

We have a small team of three full-timers and five part-timers. Ben has experience in various wet-led venues in Worthing; Ewan spent a long time with Café Nero so there’s quite literally nothing he doesn’t know about coffee. The rest of the team are Avia, Meg, James, Bex and Stacey, who all help us out around their other commitments.

How did the idea for the business come about?

Our owner, Kate, has always been a lover of Whiskey and antiques. She’s on a mission to make whiskey approachable to the next generation of drinkers and decided the Whiskey Rooms concept was the way to do it.

The pandemic has been particularly challenging for hospitality. As a fledgling business how did you cope?

Thankfully, we made the most of our off-license and sold tasting bottles and cocktails where possible. It proved to be a successful model so its something we want to bring back and do more of in the future.

What’s new for Spring 2022?

We’ve just relaunched our new menus, alongside private hire packages. The most exciting news is that our new upstairs speakeasy style lounge is now open. Called the Fourth Hand, it’s a really unique space that holds a small number of people for private get-togethers and swinging 1920s cocktails.

We have outdoor seating at the front of the bar but we’re also currently working to make a courtyard area at the back of the main bar.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We are open seven days a week and would love to see you soon!

The Whiskey Rooms, 142 Montague Street, Worthing BN11 3HG


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