Behind Bars: Gekkos, Frankfurt
Locations like Gerbermühle, Roomers, Bristol Hotel und Bar, Moriki, The Pure or Kane & Abel are well-known hotspots in Frankfurt, the banking capital of Germany. Also, they are all run by the very successful “Gecko Management“, the company of Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu. Since 2010, the “Gekkos Bar“ at Frankfurt’s Hilton hotel is also part of that very network. Black velvet, dark wood, classy booths and a very distinguished lighting are all responsible for a very classic-looking environment. It’s not your typical hotel bar though, where businessmen finish off their busy day in a relaxed atmosphere. “Gekkos“ is popular among all kinds of people from Frankfurt as well. Says Neil Sweeney, the assistant bar manager at “Gekkos“.
Neil, we were expecting a Mancunian accent!?
(laughs) I take this as a compliment, thanks. I’ve been living in Germany for 18 years now. You’re right, though. I was born in Manchester.
That’s a perfect match. Thomas Henry lived in Manchester as well.
And we use Thomas Henry Spicy Ginger in our bar for many different drinks, especially all-time classic longdrinks like the Moscow Mule, Dark’n’Stormy and the London Buck.
Since when have you been working at Gekkos?
I’ve been here for roughly 18 months now. Before that, I was working in Heidelberg, in all kinds of places. Regular restaurants, student cafes, even in Irish Pubs. I’m a foreign language correspondant by training, but did not want to work in an office. I tried gastronomy and now I’m here.
Working in such a classy bar in a city like Frankfurt requires more dedication.
Absolutely. I’m constantly learning new things. I attend workshops and competitions to get better and better, but also to work in a more disciplined way. I’m obsessed with tidiness behind the bar. My staff know what I’m talking about (laughs). I realised something, though, since I’ve been working here. Me and many of our guests share the same background. We’ve all studied in cities like Heidelberg and then moved out to Frankfurt for a job. Like me.
Gekkos is mainly for people living in Frankfurt and not so much for guests staying at the Hilton?
Exactly. Maybe this is because we work completely independent and only rent the space from the Hilton. Our guests are mainly either residents of Frankfurt or surrounding cities. Of course hotel guests are coming in, too. As do many people from abroad, passing through Frankfurt for whatever reason. It’s a very diverse crowd here at Gekkos.
One of the first things you see when you enter Gekkos is the gigantic credit card. Enlighten us. What’s the deal with that?
Well, the digits on there are the dates of birth of our two bosses. Below, there is the date of opening. And then there’s twice the number “18“. That’s a lucky number in the Jewish tradition.
Do your guests use their credit cards to pay up all the time?
Haha, no, not really. Not more often than in other places, I guess. It is an eye catcher nonetheless. You hear people whisper to each other “wow, we need to spend some serious money here“ all the time. It’s fun.
Is there a strong team spirit among bartenders in Frankfurt? There is even a short movie about the bar scene.
We are really good together. At events, we support and help each other. There is also a lot of cheering involved. It’s a great community.
What is important for you, when you’re not working?
My little daughter. She is nine months old now and is more important than everything else. I like Football, actually. My job is very time consuming, though.
Thank you very much and all the best!
60313 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0)69/133802480
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6 pm til 3 am