Originally called the ‘oyster bar’, this little sibling was launched as a casual overspill of J Sheekey, or ‘Sheekey’s’, the celebrated fish restaurant next door. When it first opened, it was tiny and cheaper than its big sis (you could, for instance, get the famous fish pie for £2 less). Over the years, to cope with demand, it has expanded both the site and the summer terrace, eventually rebranding the space the Atlantic Bar. Oh, and matching the prices to those of next door. Some of its charm and intimacy is gone, but on the plus side, it's much easier to get a table.
The atmosphere is relaxed, but smart enough for a snazzy date. It’s no longer ‘all about the counter’ (there are lots of tables now, too) and though the stained-glass windows are long gone, there’s still a vintage, jazz-age vibe. As for the food, it’s still dependably excellent. The cheese-crusted fish pie remains a solid option, but there’s more interesting tapas-y fare too: get the smoked haddock croquettes and the octopus with sriracha aioli. Oh and the baked cheesecake with boozy griotte cherries: it’s sublime.
And for those of you hankering after the bargains of old, try going after 9.30pm, in the ‘post-theatre’ slot, when you can snag yourself a fish pie and a glass of house wine for under £20.