Clubs in Shoreditch
The Queen of Hoxton – pub, club and everything in between – offers an eclectic mix over two fun floors, with DJs playing on a cutting-edge disco/house tip on the weekends, while film nights, fringe theatre and food often take centre-stage during the week. Their huge rooftop is one of the funnest in London too – with an enormous wigwam set up during the winter months.
It doesn’t sound like a place for an exciting night out, but behind the sedate name is one of the most consistently creative bars in London. The Book Club is a popular, laid back, lived-in basement bar that originally helped Hoxton earn its hip title, and in intervening years little has changed down in the basement, which remains plain and comfortable. You could visit for the drinks alone: cocktails are served in glasses or jugs to share, and come with names like Don’t Go To Dalston, or the Lorraine Kelly (made with tangy grapefruit and rum) – the emphasis is on fun and easy drinkability rather than serious mixology. (A better beer selection would be welcome, however.) You could visit for the food: breakfast starts at 8am, when the laptop tappers who work in the area use it for off-the-cuff morning meetings; lunch and dinner are simple but filling and homely, with a small menu including the likes of bar snacks, nachos and sharing platters (worth a punt). Or – and this is what sets Book Club apart – you could visit for the packed timetable of events, which includes bands, DJs, lunchtime discos, film dance-a-longs, alternative dating nights, ping-pong tournaments, informative talks, life drawing and classic video game nights. The young and relaxed crowd that pack into the spacious artwork-dotted space and its atmospheric basement are here for a bit of everything.
No-one quite knew what would happen to 89 Great Eastern Street when the popular East Village club closed suddenly in 2014. Thankfully, in March 2014 Trapeze opened, ensuring that one of Shoreditch's best-loved clubbing spaces didn't go to waste. Trapeze is a two-floor venue with a bar and kitchen up top (themed, as you might guess, around a colourful, twisted circus) and an intimate basement club down below. The house, disco and funk feel of East Village's programming remains a fixture at Trapeze thanks to EV's Stuart Patterson remaining in control of the line-ups, and you can expect to see all manner of top DJs spinning tunes to a crowd that know – and love – their house music. Terry Farley, Marshall Jefferson and Joey Negro have all played sets there, so expect acts of a similarly high calibre to continue setting the scene. Hip hop fans can also get their fix from occasional nights run by prime London beat crew The Doctor's Orders.
Venue says Happy Hour is back every day 4pm - 8pm and all night on a Wednesday!
Three years after 'Nathan Barley' satirised their daftest excesses, five years after The Guardian sounded their death knell in a piece headlined ‘Where have all the cool people gone?' and nine years after Neil Boorman’s Shoreditch Twat fanzine set them on the road to ridicule, Shoreditch and Hoxton remain in uneasy flux. The long-predicted artistic and cultural exodus hasn’t quite happened; from the avowedly mainstream T-Bar to the attractively louche Dreambagsjaguarshoes, the area retains some appealing hangouts. But every characterful success story has been countered by a feeble, bandwagon-jumping competitor: take, please, the risible Zigfrid on Hoxton Square, or the forlorn Spread Eagle, more popular and characterful when it welcomed not hipsters but strippers. The latest entrepreneur to try to crack this muddled market is Gerry Calabrese, son of smooth-talking cocktail guru Salvatore Calabrese and an experienced mixologist in his own right. Calabrese Jnr’s previous venture was Meet, which boasted design-school decor, fine cocktails, an approachable food menu, regular DJs and a fashion-friendly location primed for walk-up traffic (next to Fabric on Smithfield Market). It didn’t last, so he’s brought the formula to the split-level Curtain Road premises that housed the late, unlamented Pool. The bar is backed by a gimmicky pair of Natural History Museum-style dioramas and a side wall is dominated by the crumpled remains of an old car, but clutter is otherwise minimal and t
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