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A rustic-looking cocktail bar on King’s Cross Road.
The King’s Cross clean-up is hard to ignore, with Granary Square at its beating heart. But new life is spreading down the area’s arteries. Take The Racketeer, a cocktail bar on King’s Cross Road named after Clerkenwell’s mobster days and taking over The Carpenter’s Arms, a faded watering hole.
Its fruit machines and patterned carpets have been replaced by wooden flooring, royal blue walls and feature tiles. And all-day drinkers have made way for wheelie-suitcase-wielding travellers – I spotted a group of footie lads stopping in to use the facilities who were taken aback by the Victoriana.
Instead of fleeting pre-train pints, The Racketeer deserves enduring sessions. A log burner and tall-backed armchairs give a rear room serious cosy clout. Beyond is a neat, walled garden and downstairs looks like it’s shaping up nicely for events, all bare bricks and soft candlelight.
Wine seemed to be most popular, with bottles from small, Old World producers available to take home too. House cocktails are classics, some with a gentle twist but most faithful to formulas, including a silky-smooth boulevardier that suited the romantic setting. A cheeseboard put together by specialists Androuet came with generous chunks of bread and a homemade chilli jam (which sadly didn’t deliver on its threat of fiery heat). Rounding off the line-up are a handful of beers on tap including an IPA from Walthamstow’s lesser-known Neckstamper. Don’t let the bar’s name fool you – these quality pints stay faithfully under a fiver.
105 King's Cross Road
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