There are already nine iterations of mixologist JJ Goodman’s basement-bar juggernaut in the capital. But the newest London Cocktail Club – squeezed between a Five Guys and a Boots on Clapham High Street, like The Leaky Cauldron by way of ‘Towie’ – has a USP. A life-size Oscar maquette by the door and a continuous loop of retro Paramount and MGM titles projected above the stairs point (quite aggressively) to a movie theme.
Downstairs, the bar is split into three sections: one for ‘Titanic’, one for ‘Star Wars’ and one for ‘Pulp Fiction’. The last is done up like a diner with fake windows on to LA, while the ’Star Wars’ bit is Death Star-panelled. It falls just on the right side of gimmicky. There’s even a two-for-one ‘Orange Wednesdays’ promotion.
Table service is friendly and the menu is extensive. My Tommy’s Chilli Margarita was spicy, salty and garlicky – in a good way, I swear. My mate stuck to the theme with a Tom Cruise-saluting ‘Choctails & Dreams’, an indulgent concoction in a mug, topped with whipped cream and a Cadbury Flake. Yet, strangely, the sweetest part was the lavs, somehow the best-smelling loos I’ve ever set foot in – seriously, it’s like they’re plumbed with cherry Haribo. ‘I could spend all night in there,’ said my friend. Just don’t mistake the hand soap for pick ’n’ mix.