The unsuspected visitor of the historic center of Athens cannot miss the hundreds of colorful bottles and lights that decorate the walls of “Brettos”. “BRETTOS” is the oldest distillery in Athens. It started operating for the first time back in 1909 at the ground level of an Athenian old mansion in the heart of Plaka. At those premises, his founder, Michael Brettos, started producing ouzo, brandy and few liqueur flavors, from the old time classics like cherry and pepermint to the most distinct ones like citrus and masticha, using old family recipes from Smyrni (Izmir, Turkey). It is the 2nd oldest distillery in Europe!
Since 1909, although it is now almost a century old, little has changed at Mr Brettos’ old-fashioned distillery. It still operates as a bar at this small, incredible beautiful, charming and “out of time” spot. It is still serving visitors ouzo, 3,5 and 7 star brandy, more than 36 different flavors of liqueur, none of them available in any other of the liquor or grocery store, traditional Greek spirits, wines and beers. Visited by many locals, it is also very inviting for the tourists. Anyone who is passing by can either sit down and try any liqueur he wishes for, or buy the whole bottle if in need of something to go or take home.
The inside of the small shop is still as it used to be. The first thing you notice is the beautiful décor of a wall full of coloured bottles lit from behind that fill the entire back wall floor to ceiling, providing a colour spectrum in contrast to the 200 year old building. On another wall are the old barrels full of spirits that are still used. Around the shop there is a bar with about 15 stools where you can sample the famous homemade ouzo (very smooth), brand or liqueurs. Finally, next to the door there is the very first, hand-made, ouzo distiller that Mr Michael Brettos once used.
After all these decades “Brettos” distillery and bar is still the best place to have a few drinks after work, after a good meal, or just before you go to sleep. Without any lifestyle codes, with soft music coming from a small radio forgotten on one of the wooden shelves, “Brettos” is the perfect place is you wish to get away form everyday life and have a chat with your friends. The only thing that could surprise you are the flashes coming from the cameras of all shorts of tourist that visit the store daily. The only thing you should be certain of is the fact that you can easily fall in love with “Brettos” for its special atmosphere, both low-key and attractive, the authenticity and the friendliness of its owners.
Today “BRETTOS” distillery and bar is considered to be amongst the landmarks of Plaka. It has appeared in numerous articles of international and local newspapers and magazines like the Guardian, the National Geographic, «Κ» of Kathimerini, Eleftherotipia and others, as well as many foreign and Greek web sites and blogs. The people behind the bar are always willing to serve you and keep up the tradition of this special place, creating a friendly mix with locals and travelers. Actually, “BRETTOS” has been awarded by the “Let’s Go Publications” as the shop with the best customer service for 2007. It is posted as number 7 most important attraction in Athens in Tripdavisor.com.
Please see HERE the Brettos website.
It is worth passing by “BRETTOS”. You might find you now hang out place, since it stays open from 10am till 3am every day, making it’ a perfect old place for a nightcap.