The strange nameless hinterland between Fitzrovia and Camden has never offered too much in the way of drinking destinations. But the bar previously known as Positively 4th Street has, like Kerouac and Cassady on the road, taken a wild swing south from New York down to New Orleans and reopened as a Deep South-style cocktail den.
It’s owned by the Shaker chain of bar schools, well-regarded academies for bartenders aiming to perfect their crafts. The bar has a comprehensive array of spirits used in a range of drinks that would be a lot easier to ask for if the names weren’t so daft, such as ‘It’s Not Terry’s It’s Tin Tin’s’. The cocktails, however, have a balance of own-made syrups and infusions, herbs and spices, with minimal show-off mixology.
Staff we sought out for guidance were very knowledgeable, as you might expect.
Food ranges from the recognisably Southern (gumbo, jambalaya, hush puppies) to the more generically American – mini sliders, ‘soul fried chicken bites’, chocolate brownies.
On our visit there were no spare seats, and the revellers by the bar made it hard to enjoy the refinement offered by the cocktail list. But it’s a handsome space, with a piano in the corner and an eye-catching bar complete with glass-doored cabinets and a library of classic cocktail-making books.
The downstairs is given over to a changing succession of spirit companies to ‘showcase’ their brands, which for us meant trying to relax inside a wraparound Belvedere vodka ad.