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The Bootlegger

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars City of London
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
The Bootlegger

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A new Prohibition-inspired bar not far from Leadenhall Market.

London’s underground ‘speakeasy’ bars are increasingly becoming the city’s worst kept secrets. But at the City’s new Prohibition-inspired bar The Bootlegger, there’s no tell-tale neon sign or oversized doorknocker – it’s hidden between a Nando’s and a dry cleaners. Don’t be perturbed by the lack of signage. Head down the unexpected stairwell and you’ll find a basement bar whose exposed brick walls are adorned with archive photographs, dimly lit by copper pendant lamps and candles.

It’s clear that they haven’t scrimped on authentic details. There’s an old-fashioned till, a hooch distiller, and a gramophone – all in working order, although they’ve only got one record. But all this attention to detail can seem a little try-hard – miscellaneous jazz music? Tick. Staff in bow-ties and braces? Tick. Bar snacks served in enamel dishes that are suspiciously chipped in identical places? Double tick.

While the whole ‘speakeasy’ thing might be a bit overdone, the cocktails are spot-on. The Button Man and his Gat – a fragrant blend of vanilla vodka and amaretto with a zingy twist of lemon, pineapple and basil manages to satisfy a sweet tooth without tasting like liquid sherbet. And for those who like it hot, The Jake Walk – a spicy mix of rum blended with fresh chillies and lime juice – was pleasantly fiery without blowing our heads off.

If you’re in it for the long haul, they’ve got a few bar snacks: meat platters, olives and cheese boards. They’re tasty enough, but much like the bar’s hidden entrance, nothing stands out. With little to distinguish this place from the rest of London’s ‘secret’ underground bars, we fear that people won’t be booting down the door to get in. But we hope we’re wrong.


Address: Basement Bar
25-26 Lime Street
Transport: Tube: Monument
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Users say (4)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I've recently been here for a friend's birthday party and had a good time. I didn't know anything about the place before so I was surprised when I got to the entrance and find it hidden between a Nando's an a dry cleaner. The coctails were delicious (I recommend the Getaway if you have a sweet tooth like me) and I liked the decoration too (I even found wine bottles labelled for Al Capone). 

Great find in the heart of the city, 1920's themed bar got livelier as the night went on, probably not the best place if you want to have a chat. We had wine so  I cant comment on their cocktails although the ones going around looked great.  The perfect place to go after work rather than your standard pub, definitely something a little different.

Huge surprise! This place is definitely something different, magical atmosphere and friendly and professional service, and great selection of signature cocktails. You have to go!


Can you keep a secret? Then follow me to the Bootlegger in the heart of the City where you’ll enter through the inconspicuous entrance, head down to the basement and into a bar to sample a riot of cocktails enjoyed by the law breaker of 1920’s Chicago.

There’s some things you should know. The Bootlegger is a prohibition themed cocktail bar which aims to brings the secret decadent times of 1920’s Chicago back to life and recreate the feel good vibe of the bygone era. The Bootlegger does a really good and really impresses with it’s attention to detail to presentation. You can admire the authentic decor from bygone eras such as the antique cashier by the counter, the vintage piano and the peeling walls adorned with newspaper clippings of Chicago’s most wanted as you sip on quirkily named cocktails such as “Cash or Cheque”, “Supply & Demand” and “Take That Nickel”. Even the website gives very little away. After all, this place is meant to be hush-hush, remember?

It’s a small venue with two areas to sit and the atmosphere is lively with live music from motown and jazz playing in the background. There’s some room to dance so you can impress your mates (or not) with your moves. But as it’s not very big, it can get cramp and there’s not much chance of holding a conversation with your mates if you’re looking just to chat.

What I love most about The Bootlegger is the presentation of cocktails which is as equally quirky as it’s name. Imagine being served your cocktail in an emergency drinking water hip flask” which is concealed in a book. Pretty cool, right

Obviously the price is a sticking point but what do you expect from a bar in the City?

If you love all-things vintage, fascinated by history and easily delighted by all things quirky, then you’ll have a roaring good time. So grab your mates and party into the night 1920’s Chicago style.

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