Back in the late 1980s, this was the place to be. A hidden cellar with a faintly industrial feel, it carried with it a certain easy-going democracy, a welcome change from style-trial nightclubs and members-only enterprises such as the Groucho. After what seems a lifetime, it hasn’t changed a bit.
The 40-odd affordable cocktails (£5.50-£7.25), stencilled above the busy bar counter, are strong and served with ceremony: a Holy Freud Lemonade contains vodka, lychee, lemonade and elderberry, while mojitos come in several varieties. Some 15 types of bottled beer include Meantime, Budvar and Zywiec, while wine starts at a bargain £3.35 a glass.
Rotating art exhibitions dot the aged-concrete walls; it does, after all, say ‘Café Bar Gallery’ in red neon outside. Who’d have thought it would survive so long?
198 Shaftesbury Avenue
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-11pm Mon-Wed; 11am-1am Thur, Sat; 11am-2am Fri; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-4.30pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Tottenham Court Rd|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
I went there last night with friends who suggested it, thinking this would be a nice bar. It's not.
The cocktails are £6.25 to £7.75 which would be good value. However when you go down the stairs to the entrance opposite is the gents, an open archway stinking of piss; not the way I want to start an evening. Inside it's just a cramp concrete basement.
We got seats in the far left corner which held deep in the shadows an old suitcase with loads of cardboard boxes piled on top. If the staff can't be bother to clean up rubbish in the parts of the bar customers can actually see I'm not sure I want to see what the back is like.
Go if you like a bar that uses rubbish as décor.
My favourite cafe bar in London, good prices, great drinks, good staff, really chilled and possibly the coolest place in town. I just miss the telly and Father Ted with subtitles, ah the good old days!
I love this place. The cocktail are cheap and amazing! It can get a bit rammed on a friday or saturday night.... If you are there during the day pop in for a non alcoholic creamy soda. My fav.