The Nickel Bar, located in a former Midland Bank, is less about exchange rates and more about hot dates. It’s fairly indistinguishable from the rest of the ground-floor restaurant offerings at The Ned – the marble-clad temple to money brought back to life by the Soho House group – save for a few extra flashes of dollar-bill green. On my first visit, our seats were right next to a noisy jazz trio thumping out pop covers, who were thankfully replaced, later on, by a blues band with a sassy Winehouse-style singer.
I didn’t get the bygone-era feel the interiors seemed to suggest, but that was mostly due to the bankers battering their expense accounts on a weeknight. A second visit, on a weekend, was much more agreeable, with seats on offer at the stand-alone bar. From here, smart staff whipped up new takes on classics from the ‘strong drinks’ list. A Nedgroni came with a wedge of pink grapefruit. A Clover 75 was the perfect drink for this setting, a fruity champagne cocktail with a pretty pansy float. And a strong bourbon and rye list marks out The Nickel Bar as a nightcap destination. The glassware was, of course, to die for.
Given the fast pace of the place, staff don’t really have time to make you feel like a million dollars, and there’s no food offering (yet). But there are plenty of options under this (hotel) roof if you hit the whisky a little too hard. Banking has never been so sexy.