Rotary Bar & Diner
70 City Road
Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Feb 27 2013
By Euan Ferguson
The Rotarians do a lot of commendable work, not just planting flowerbeds in roundabouts. But this is nothing to do with the Rotary Club. It’s a temporary bar and diner from the people behind Soho cocktail cave Milk & Honey and the Farringdon steakhouse Redhook, among others. It’s right next to Old Street roundabout, on which the government has pinned all Britain’s hopes of economic recovery, due to its proliferation of software companies.
It’s called ‘rotary’ because that’s the American word for roundabout. And this is a US-themed bar. (Americans use ‘traffic circle’ too, but that’s not such a great name for a bar.)
And because this place is only in operation for ten months (until December 2013), it has to be mercilessly current. So, naturally, there are big fat burgers in buns with fries, fried buttermilk chicken wings and, arriving soon, barbecue. Drinks include US beers and pints of cocktails. Despite the fact the place was packed to overflowing with revellers both reclining and upstanding, all the food we had was great. And, for no apparent reason other than it’s the drink du jour, there are several mezcals on the menu too, so you can tick all the boxes in your hipster I-Spy.
Huge windows on to the City Road encourage gawpers; inside, it brings to mind a slightly seedy Aspen ski lodge, the sort of place Hunter S Thompson might hole up in for a weekend-long mescaline odyssey. A good look. And downstairs is the members-only Rotary Room, which adds a dash of David Lynch to the mix with its wood-panelled walls and mysterious nooks.