When Doodle Bar first opened in Battersea in 2009, it was a spot to cherish. Hidden in an industrial warehouse through a carpark, it was a pop-up when pop-ups weren’t de rigueur. And the drinks were properly cheap. Best of all, you could write on the walls, along the tables and even on the waiters’ whites. As time went on, the pop-up went perm, the prices went up and the doodling was limited to the walls, but it remained a gem. That was until it closed to make way for luxury flats (that old chestnut) in 2015. But now Doodle Bar is back, occupying a railway arch in Bermondsey. Three cheers for that.
Open Wednesday to Saturday, the weekend feels like it starts here while the other arches are shutting up shop. The concrete floor is high gloss, there’s a foosball table at the front of the bar and a short menu of indulgent burgers. But the real action is at the back; a narrow arch of a room, with blackboards on both sides and ping pong tables down the middle.
A short list of decent cocktails is joined by a well curated wine list, over twenty different gins and the bar’s own pale ale, all of which help get the creative juices flowing; by the end of the night the walls are covered in various ‘imaginative’ sketches.