Time Out says
High-end, speakeasy style cocktail joint, where bartenders will mix you up a bespoke drink, or show you how to do your own at mixology masterclasses
It’s easy to pass by The Maven if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A nod to the secrecy and sophistication of Prohibition-era America, the bar does well to keep itself hidden away from the drunken masses of the notorious Call Lane, while steadily building a word-of-mouth reputation that has seen the small venue grow in popularity.
A dark wood bar surrounded by comfy leather high chairs and quirky decorative touches set Maven apart from the wipe-clean nightclub vibe of certain neighbouring establishments. The stylish blue interior is dotted with hanging lampshades, mounted antlers and ornithological taxidermy. There’s a small but solid selection of wine, champagne and bottled beers (none on tap) behind the counter, but Maven’s forte is cocktails. A mirror-backed row of spirits holds infinite opportunities for mixological creativity, and expert staff are skilled enough to make you want to discover the classics all over again, while also take requests for more bespoke concoctions in their stride. Mixes are beautifully presented in a range of vessels, including a teapot if you order ‘the English garden’ or a large bowl if you plump for ‘mother’s ruin punch’.
Averaging £7.50 for a signature drink and £9 for seasonal specials, Maven isn’t cheap, but is priced in line with the city’s similar high-end cocktail bars, such as Angelica and The Alchemist. A second smaller bar flanks a DJ booth which blasts out Motown, R&B and rap for revellers to move to on weekend evenings, while mixology masterclasses are regularly held.