It was always going to be popular, this bar, based as it is at the thronging epicentre of Shoreditch’s nightlife circuit. On our visit, there were chain-smokers outside and security on the door. But fair play: this third branch of the ‘records’ gang (joining Venn Street Records in Clapham and Northcote Records in Battersea) is a fun enough hangout.
Spread over two floors – a barely lit basement lounge and a brighter groundfloor – the look is fairly formulaic (exposed brick walls, industrial ceiling ducts, bare filament bulbs, red neon). But there’s a cursory nod to the music theme, with records stacked tall on shelves.
Live music and DJs keep the place buzzing, with tunes blasting out in the cosier basement space, too. It’s all secured the venue its status as a spot for group gatherings – as a three, we were the smallest table there. Two-for-one offers on a sprawling cocktail list and deals on a small range of pizzas pushes Old Street Records fully into party territory. A smoked pineapple punch proved an uplifting cocktail choice, although other drinks we sampled were a little shaky. The pizzas were solid – the fiery diavolo ’nduja the winner – but with a 45-minute wait after ordering and with no other pizzas flying around, we had to question what was going on in the kitchen. This party pooper aside, Old Street Records seems to be in its groove.