With Budweiser the only brew on tap, it’s clear that beer appreciators are not really the target audience at this misleadingly monikered cocktail joint. It occupies a small premises between a Nigerian restaurant and a former builders’ merchants. Mass-market lager is also indicative of the bar’s lack of pretensions – there are no Victorian affectations here, no pre-mixed artisanal drinks (like you’ll find at the nearby White Lyan or Liquor Cabinet). And though the bar staff will happily knock you up an Aperol spritz, this in-vogue tipple doesn’t have a place on the cocktail list.
Instead you’ll find a selection of classic-ish drinks, all – shall we say – ‘ambitiously’ priced at £9. The candy-floss pink, egg white-topped, gin-based Clover Club is as smooth as they come and ideal for those not into the sting of spirits, while at the other end of the scale the Fisticuffs is a dizzying blend of three different rums and very little else. For snackers, the sausage rolls are impressively meaty, but also overpriced at £5 a pop.
And that’s it, really. No blue-rimmed bowls of pickled oddities, no gramophone belting out Prohibition-era jazz. Even the decor is mercifully un-moodboarded, and while faux-velvet booths and gold trim may not be for everyone, it’s a welcome break from mismatched chairs and faux-vintage trinkets. The wholesale shunning of bar trends here is actually rather refreshing, even if what remains does only add up to a fairly average experience.