Time Out says
For a so-called ‘secret’ speakeasy, there’s been an awful lot of publicity about this new basement bar beneath the new Breakfast Club in Spitalfields. According to the booze bloggers, in order to gain exclusive entry, you need to embark on clandestine correspondence with a chap called Henri who gives it the big hush-hush and may, if you’re lucky and tap the side of your nose, reveal the covert entrance to a cloak-and-dagger drinking den.
Don’t believe the hype. The entrance is the one that looks like a big SMEG fridge door. We didn’t discover it because we’re cooler than a retro fridge – we discovered it because they had revealed its location on a blackboard outside, which somewhat undermines its status as a ‘secret’ speakeasy.
Once you’ve navigated all that nonsense, you’re left with a quirky dimly lit cocktail bar clad in exposed brick and wood. It’s reminiscent of a 'Twin Peaks' cabin with moose heads, mirror balls, retro wallpaper and a clock with unnerving, oscillating eyes. It’s not the best place for a date with its high stools, wooden tables and, on this occasion, lack of toilet tissue in the ladies' loos. Despite this the lighting is low, and a sign forbids ‘heavy petting’.
Refreshingly for a so-called speakeasy, the staff didn’t take themselves too seriously and the drinks menu makes an amusing mockery of more vain ‘underground’ venues. The cocktails, consisting of classics and house specials, are well-crafted on the whole – especially the chilli and lemongrass twist on the Tommy’s Margarita. With Timothy Taylor and Modelo Especial, the beer list is also better than some. Wines cost from under £15 and there are simple sandwiches and platters on hand to soak up the suds to a soulful soundtrack.
12-16 Artillery Lane
|Transport:||Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail|
|Opening hours:||Open 5-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served 5pm-midnight Mon-Sat; 5-10.30pm Sun|
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Users say (21)
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:10
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
Loved this bar, me and two friends went at about 6pm on a saturday night it was full when we got there so we waited upstairs in the restaurant and enjoyed the happy hour cocktails instead, after about twenty mins we were taken downstairs where we sat at the bar, it was a great atmosphere and the staff were friendly, helpful and a laugh, my and my friends planned to go for one and stayed for 3 left in great spirits. I really recommend this place and the bar manager who was wonderful accommodating and provided excellent customer service!
I love the Mayor! We go so often, the bar staff know us. I find that I don't always like the drinks that are offered but if you ask them, the staff are more than happy to make you one off menu. It's a little pricey but it's very cool and so much fun
Love this place, been five times now with people coming down to visit and blown a large part of my student loan here.
As a firm believer in the great brunch culture which The Breakfast club has brought to the UK and a frequent visitor to many of there locations for brunch we decided to try the evening drinks in the downstairs "attempt" at a speakeasy Despite being a well curated place, the location was let down by average drinks and absolutely appalling behavior by someone who described himself as the manager, a title we were skeptical he had actually earned. Summarising in one single word, courtesy of the lack of customer facing management: "avoid", or if I had to use another "mediocre"
Really rude waitress told us that we couldn't go in as we were in such a large group (there were only 7 of us). They wouldn't even allow us to go in and sit at separate tables in smaller groups as we might "walk around and talk to each other." We were also told to come back later (I suspect to get rid of us) and when we did we were told that the wait was over an hour by which time they'd be closed. Overall very rude and disappointing.
I'm really very leery about places like this and couldn't see myself queueing, BUT and it's a big BUT, If you stay upstairs and order a drink, smile a lot, be nice to the staff you can get bumped on the queue (couples stand a better chance, I think). Once you get to the bar its a very nice little spot indeed, drinks are pretty well made and not too expensive (your mileage may vary here). The atmosphere is buzzy verging on loud but that's the kind of place it is. What made the visit special was the supersweet host who looked after us so well
Was very disappointed on my 2nd visit to this bar, we were taken downstairs and told to wait by the bar. We were told that we could not move from that spot. Service was so slow it was painful, we had to wait 15 min to receive our drinks. Even though we had ordered a couple of beers which should have taken all of 60 seconds to sort out!!!The exit is right next to the main toilets upstairs. This was the nail in the coffin, as we walked out it smelt terrible. Somebody clearly had some sort of bowel problems! Having the exit there is unavoidable but some air freshner would have been nice. If you want repeat business the exit is just as important as the entrance...Never going back, wait to long, no freedom to move downstairs and it stank.
Great place - loved it. We had to wait 40mins to go in, but it was worth it. The staff is friendly, but a bit slow. Try the Spitalfield Aperol Spritz!
Cool quirky bar, good servce, food average, great atmosphere and drinks. Good for having a chat midweek. Def recommend. Lots of fun.
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