Ridley Road Market Bar

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Dalston

Last summer a furniture and computer shop in Dalston’s Ridley Road, following a quickie remodel, became home to a very different type of enterprise.

Not that you’d know it from the sign: in that knowingly understated east London style, ‘Furniture & PC Sales’ remained above the entrance, reminding those who sought it out they were about to enter a wilfully DIY operation.

It traded as a café until a few weeks ago, when a liquor licence turned it into a bar proper. Inside, fake-wood wall veneers clash gloriously with homemade cymbal lightshades, a checquered dancefloor, mirrorballs, a bar made of offcuts, cheapo seating and piles of exotic fruit. DJs play and sometimes there are bands.

It’s like a Club Tropicana where strangers don’t take you by the hand and drinks aren’t free – but they’re pretty cheap.

The nightspots up and down the nearby Dalston drag of Kingsland Road can be a bit intimidating for those not in leotards (men) or without undercuts (women), so RRMM, although clearly aware of its ironically tacky trendiness, feels brilliantly egalitarian.

On our visit, a giant but very friendly bouncer ushered us in; staff were assembling cheerful and uncomplicated cocktails. The short list was displayed on a peg-board menu: the likes of ginger mojitos, or gin with fresh pomegranate, served in plastic pint pots with a straw and piles of crushed ice for a fiver. Beer, appropriately enough for a tropical-themed bar in east London, is Red Stripe.

Instead of trying to cram a kitchen in to their premises, the people behind RRMM have cleverly given over a small streetfront area to a selection of modish street-food salespeople: Luca’s Italian meatball sandwiches regularly appear; other mid-market munchies include Big Apple Hot Dogs, Hoxton Beach Falafel and Luardo’s Mexican. Coffee is served during the day.

RRMM is the sort of easy-living place that would fit right in on the Beach Boys’ imaginary isle of Kokomo. It’s pitched just on the right side of hip so as not too feel like too much of an imposition among the stalls of the market itself – one still used by real people every day. As Wham! would say, all that’s missing is the sea…

Venue name: Ridley Road Market Bar
Contact:
Address: 49 Ridley Rd
London
E8 2NP
Opening hours: Open 6pm-midnight Wed; 6pm-2am Thur-Sat; 3-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Dalston Kingsland Overground

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|12
1 person listening
sophie

Friendly staff, easy on the pocket cocktails, good vibes and great music.

Hipster no.69,463

For goodness sake get a security man with a brain and some manners; refused entry 0n Sunday 25 Aug. for allegedly having been seen in Ridley Road with a blue plastic bag 20 minutes before trying to go inside to join my friends' birthday celebration. Is there a zero star rating?

Noami

Amazing stone oven baked Pizza's here, the best pizza i have eaten in London! Music was the best, wanted to get up on the dance floor and dance with my pizza woop! Glad its off the main drag of Kingsland Road too.

Raj

I was there one month ago after a bad day at work. Went in with a grumpy face for a quick drink with a friend, and left at 2 am with a big smile. Have been there every single week ever since, and the result is always the same. This bar kicks asses, fills you up with good vibrationz, and is far cheaper than a good psycotherapist, and the resutls are guaranteed. A 'feel good' must in London, with amazing drinks and the loveliest staff.

Anton

I have been down to this bar twice so far each time I have had a wonderful time. It is unlike any other bar I have been to in London, with friendly staff, lovely cheap drinks and all in all good vibes. A special mention should be for the music - on both ocassions I have been they have had the 2 moustache clad guys playing the most incredible music...not cheesy at all and not even music I have ever heard but music you just want to dance to! I am looking forward to my next visit to this hidden treasure!!

Mariano

I went to Citizens! gig last wednesday. Lovely bar, charming staff. Cheap cocktails, refreshing ginger mojito for a fiver, fresh juice in the drinks. Delicious wood-oven pizzas. Loved this place!

Olga

I love this bar so much, it fills a much needed gap in Dalston. I particularly like the fresh juice in the drinks and the cute staff and clientèle!

Lord Gumboot

Go here!... with a glorious freshness in your heart, and smile from ear to ear all night at the unbounding innocence and unexpergated happiness of the regulars. Not a place for cynics or posers, despite the wonderfully stylish and turned out folk, who dance with an abandon like they are not being watched, much less care. Homeslice Pizza on Saturdays is a wonderful way to keep your dancing shoes stable for longer throughout the night. The best bar in the area for people who like people. Big up Kezza. x