Once upon a time, a slightly, let’s say, ‘exclusive’ pub sat at 193 Hackney Road, complete with ragged St George's cross bunting and frosted glass to keep prying eyes out. Nowadays, on the same site sits Sager & Wilde – a sleek wine bar with thick blinds which also work to keep prying eyes out.
Though its two owners began by running a pop-up, the choice metropolitan design here – it’s laid out more like a Parisian corner bar than a traditional boozer – denotes that this is a permanent enterprise with intent. Behind the long iron-grate bar sits Sagar & Wilde's main selling point – its wines – served at a reasonable price by the bottle or glass, and varying day to day.
The food menu boasts a shifting set of small plates, some of which have a slightly high regard for themselves, but if you struggle with the menu, just get the grilled cheese sandwich – it is uncomplicated and completely delicious.