Two Schmucks 2.0

Taking over the reigns of The World’s 50 Best Bars would be a daunting experience for many, but not French duo Pom Modeste and Juliette Larrouy.

Earlier this year, the twosome became creative directors for the Schmuck or Die group, which now has three venues, most notably Two Schmucks, which placed 26 in The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2020. 

However, sitting down with the new ‘Two Schmucks’ for a coffee in the company’s second venue, Fat Schmuck, it became clear that if bartending fails then a career in comedy is waiting. When asked who’s most bossy the pair pointed at each other without hesitation, sparking a five-minute squabble.

Eventually, after settling on the fact they’re both a little bossy, Modeste says: “We work well together because we’re both French, but I’m almost 10 years older than Juliette so we just bounce off each other well. We have a lot of trust.” 

The pair first met in Paris while working in different venues but had never crossed paths on a professional basis until manning the bar at Two Schmucks. 

Moe Aljaff, founder of the Schmuck or Die group in Barcelona, wanted a new pair to take over as a kind of Two Schmucks 2.0 following the department of his business partner, AJ White. Modeste and Larrouy now look after the beverage programme across all three venues. 

“I love that Two Schmucks is a super-serious bar in terms of making the best drinks we can and creating the best experience for our guests, but at the same time it can become a party every night,” says Modeste. “Moe can trust us to run the bar, which is giving him time to brainstorm and work on the marketing of the brand, so everyone is pretty happy. But he still checks up on us regularly to make sure everything is up to scratch, and that’s why he’s successful.” 

Having previously insisted she wasn’t bossy, Larrouy interrupts: “Two Schmucks has changed a little since we’ve been working there but that’s what Moe wants. It’s not better or worse than before, it’s just different, although I’d say the music has got a lot better since we’ve been in charge. Oh, and there’s calvados too.” 

Modeste continues: “I don’t like working somewhere that doesn’t feel like it’s going to evolve, but at Two Schmucks it’s always changing and improving. 

“We want to get our team working like a well-oiled machine before we start changing too much and to be honest we’re just here to bring our vibe to Two Schmucks and do our part in a much bigger project.” 

Having taken over the baton from Aljaff and White, Larrouy and Modeste are now traveling the world doing high-profile take overs in the likes of Mexico City, London and Berlin, but their relationship isn’t limited to behind the bar. 

“We’re like besties outside of work because Pom helped me out a lot when I first arrived so we became close really fast,” says Larrouy. “But because 

we rarely work together on the same shift we tend to catch up when we’re behind the bar, which is super fun.” 

When asked who the best partier is, Modeste simply smiles, pointing back towards herself. “Pom can go forever, it’s crazy,” says Larrouy. And as if it has been rehearsed, they simultaneously raise their hands when asked who’s the biggest schmuck.