Shrub & Shutter

Bars and pubs Brixton
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(25user reviews)
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Expertly made cocktails close to Brixton market.

‘Brixton’s changing fast right now’, as Mike Urban, the local pundit behind Brixtonbuzz.com blog, sees it, ‘but not for all its residents’. And nowhere do we see this more clearly than opposite the daunting edifice of the Barrier Block (the vast Southwyck House), where in a down-at-heel shop parade, a trendy cocktail bar has replaced a part-time Caribbean restaurant.

Booming hip hop greeted us on arrival, so loud we could barely hear each other speak, but the decibels clearly don’t deter the enthusiastic young chaps doing the bartending. An alchemist’s laboratory of tinctures, potions and spirits dominates the tiny and sometimes frenetic front room.

Order an Autopilot (£8.50), and the citrous tequila blend in a delicate coupe glass is supplied with a DIY paper aeroplane kit; the Deerhunter (£9) – a variant on an old fashioned – comes with a miniature venison side nibble. But gimmicky though this may all be, the cocktails are expertly made: the Georgetown Negroni balances smoky aromas with the depth of El Dorado rum and ‘charcoaled’ Campari.  

The front room only has a few high stools and counters, but the more spacious and private back room provides proper tables and chairs. Snacks chalked on a blackboard might include tiny plates of tuna carpaccio, garden salad, heritage tomatoes with soft burrata or cheese platters with dainty rye breads – all decent enough, but fairly pricy at a fiver each. There are wines and beers too, but the reason to come here is for the expertly made cocktails – the best SW9 has seen. Yup, Brixton’s changing all right.

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Venue name: Shrub & Shutter
Contact:
Address: 336 Coldharbour Lane
London
SW9 8QH
Opening hours: Tue-Wed 5pm -1am; Thur 5pm-2am; Fri 5pm -3am; Sat noon-3am; Sun noon-6pm
Transport: Tube: Brixton
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:20
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|25
1 person listening
MissLDN
Tastemaker

I heard so much about this tiny bar of Brixton Rd and you have to be really lucky to grab a table. From the outside you would not expect a fancy cocktail bar and the décor is hip, but not too much - it feels more like your fancy friends living room.


The menu is massive and it's really hard to choose from. It might be worth asking the staff for recommendations. The cocktails are presented in a unique way. It's worth going if you are into cocktails and would like to try some new mixtures.

Shahid G

Some of the best cocktails in the city and the food is great too. Service is super friendly

Liz P

The best ingenuity at a cocktail bar, the freindliest people running a very sought after bar, arrogance never appears, young and older can drink here, all welcome, all are stunned by the artistry of the drinks. Food is also wonderful - it just has an amazing atmospere

Aysha F

Amazing cocktails and the best cocktail menu concept I've seen. The restaurant is lovely too.

Naomi Ruth E

This is my favourite place in London....amazing service, amazing food, amazing cocktails, amazing atmosphere.....its perfect

LUCY S

Fantastic place to drink and eat, always really friendly and amazing what can come from such a small kitchen. Really exciting cocktails that don't take too long to make!

Towers

Refreshing herb garden gimlet. Vodka, fresh mint, aero garden shrub, fresh lime, elderflower - delicious cocktail in a fun independent with great hosts taking pride in their concoctions. Brixton area is really spicing up, I like this place alloty, inspired pop up cocktail bars & street food. Bloody lovely cocktails here, tipping into the sublime consciousness. I love Brixton pop.

Tara P
Tastemaker

Last night I had a five-star evening at the Shrub & Shutter. The cocktails were first class, the food tasty, the service excellent and the presentation inventive enough to anger the "we want plates" enthusiasts. I would not hesitate in recommending it.


The above is a very brief summary. However, I was there for a special event that deserves a special review - if you're interested, you can read on...



The Shrub & Shutter Disney Takeover


Once upon a time, a young girl was reading TimeOut and stumbled across a Brixton cocktail bar that she hadn't seen before.


To her surprise, they were hosting a splendid event - a ball one might say - based on her favourite Disney characters. The girl was very excited, for finally someone had understood her joy in the combination of cocktail drinking and Disney.


She hastened to secure a table and was lucky to do so as there was so much interest in this mystical event. She persuaded her prince to accompany her and awaited the evening in eagerness - but also in the slight fear of being disappointed.


Luckily for this tale, her fears were not realised. The event was spectacular. The room was subtly but nicely decorated in Disney raiment and the waitresses were so very friendly. The food was delicious, and she even tried a new delicacy  - a "chickpea chip" that was so good she ordered a further two plates!


But the true magic of the evening lay in the splendid cocktail list. Each was based on an individual film and had its own unique presentation - so which should she choose? The "Tale As Old As Time" complete with bell jar and rose? The "Drink Worth Fighting For" with Chinese dragon and impressive flames? Or the "Genie of the Lamp", served in - you guessed it - a magical lamp with its own lucky dip scratch-card?

The libations provoked little "oohs" of excitement from the room and they tasted as good as they looked. One of our heroine's cocktails did take a little longer to arrive, but in return she was delivered such a lovely glass of complimentary prosecco that she was perfectly happy.


The couple didn't want to leave - especially as there was additional entertainment to be had in trying to find Nemo. But sadly it was a Sunday and they needed to be back before the stroke of midnight.


They went home exceedingly happy and in the hope that The Shrub and Shutter would plan another Disney event - but were also very interested to see what else lay up the inventive owners' sleeves. 

Jorge A.
Staff Writer

Cocktails are original, all of them, and really tasty. The atmosphere is friendly. A place that I definitely recommend. 


Max S

Amazing array of hand crafted cocktails - some of the best I have ever had - in a cool venue with friendly staff and a great atmosphere!

Tess F

The most innovative and interesting cocktail bar out there. For not just a drink, but a proper experience!

Jerry N

Great Venue with personality. Doesn't feel like a hipster rip off. Great drinks and a good atmosphere.

Jim G

Amazing ever-changing cocktails, friendliest of welcomes through the door.

Egidio R

More "bar" than pub. But the cocktails are 11 out of 10. The food is 12 out of 10. The staff are 13 out of 10. Not the cheapest meal-plus-drinks you'll ever have, but you're guaranteed to leave happy. I love this place.

Hammertime
moderatorStaff Writer

Imaginative cocktails (I've never had a pepperoni infused margarita before!) and cute décor. The chickpea chips were an unusual, tasty twist on standard bar food too.

Nikki G

Some of the most creative and thoughtful cocktails I've seen. They're also delicious and presented extremely well.

George S

A great place - the staff are incredibly friendly and full of energy! I didn't eat but the cocktails were incredible - very creative with so many flavours perfectly balanced

Lucy W

I've moved away from the area and miss what was my new little local. The cocktails are fantastic and good value. Staff always have a smile. Yes, this place reflects how Brixton is changing, but that's not a reason not to go.

Joshua S

I thought this was a really cool little venue just off Brixton Village - Atmosphere was buzzing and the cocktails are awesome. Fairly expensive but certainly worth it  - will be going back!

Matt C

Brixton is definitely changing. Unfortunately this place makes that change a negative one.

I have to say the cocktails were okay, but for the price of a meal it just isn't worth it.

I sat in the front room looking out at the flats and couldn't help but consider how the people of Brixton were being priced out of their own town. I just didn't sense the soul of Brixton in this place. This place is like a kick in the teeth to the people in the council flats opposite who aren't invited to the party. I suspect most wealthy white people who come and go won't think twice so if you want expensive drinks in a pretentious gimmicky bar in a poor part of town, by all means crack on. I'll pass.

Owen O

We had dinner here last weekend, and had an absolutely brilliant time. The guys there are making an incredible effort with the food and drink menus, and the service was top notch (and hilarious). The menu was split-themed for Burns night/Australia day - we had a kangaroo & langoustine version of surf n turf (kangaroo in particular was amazing) and some scottish themed cocktails (an Irn Bru collins for starters and later a dessert cocktail which came with deep-fried mars bars). Great place and will definitely be going back. Cheers guys!