Review: London Speakeasy Bars, behind the fridge door…

Back tracking a couple of weeks now (I’ve been busy!) on Wednesday evening I paid my first visit to the Mayor’s house. The Mayor of a very small town called Scaredy Cat….. well, I say town. It’s actually a secret speakeasy beneath The Breakfast Club restaurant in Spitalfields. Lost? Let me explain….

The Breakfast Club is a chain of restaurants in London serving yummy American grub. Think pancakes, burgers, club sandwiches, salt beef, etc. writes “Breakfast Club’s Spitalfields branch resembles a cool version of an American burger bar: faux tin ceiling, ‘booths’ created from a row of reclaimed locker-room seats, zinc bar stools around original brick columns, and walls covered in eclectic memorabilia and signage, including a neon ‘Sex and Drugs and Bacon Rolls’. There’s a real sense of fun here – even the loos have My Little Pony wallpaper – and, on the night of our visit, the mainly suited crowd clearly enjoyed the buzzy atmosphere”.

Well, just around the corner from Liverpool Street station, on Artillery Lane, just off Bishopsgate, the Breakfast Club hides an underground bar. Not only is it underground, it’s only accessible via an inconspicuous SMEG fridge door…

First of all, I have to confess this was my first “speakeasy” bar experience so my forthcoming rave review is based on the excitement of entering a 1950s-like bar, through a SMEG fridge door. I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to avoid that smug look as you saunter past the other diners who are clearly wondering just where the hell you are going and what they are missing.

To make things even more secretive, there’s a password for entry. Instructions are clearly highlighted on The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’s website but just in-case the password had changed I sent @Mayorscaredycat a sneaky tweet…

I often find myself with the same conundrum: where to go to catch up with a friend after work, where the cocktails are going to be cold, the barmen hot and the soundtrack soulful? And I’m asking for all that, on a Wednesday night.

Well, once you’ve navigated your way in, you’re left with a quirky dimly-lit cocktail bar clad in exposed brick and wood. Fully equipped with moose heads, mirror balls, retro wallpaper and a clock with unnerving, oscillating eyes – it’s always a challenge to find somewhere cool, that isn’t pretentious, to hang out and wind down after a hard, erm, three days of work and, for me, this venue did the trick.

The staff didn’t take themselves too seriously and the cocktails, consisting of classics and house specials, are well-crafted. They were pretty amazing and reasonably well priced ranging from £7.50-£8.50 which for London is rather decent, especially as these are freshly made by experts using raw ingredients. The staff are knowledgeable, really friendly and attentive.

As well as the great company and great cocktails, I loved noticing the attention to detail. The menu’s were kept in novelty cat food tins and even the outline of the key in The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’s logo is shaped as a cat’s head (notice the ears!). The blurb on the menu was also entertaining and set the scene for our Wednesday evening. I definitely recommend paying the Mayor a visit especially if you’re in the area… I’m sure he’d like to welcome you to town.

The Venue

ADDRESS – Breakfast Club, 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS

CONTACT – Call 020 707 89 639 or email Henri

OPENING TIMES – 5 till midnight Monday to Thursday. 12-midnight Friday to Sunday. Boo to the overly sensitive landlord

TWITTER– @Mayorscaredycat

Remember to leave via the upstairs toilets, not the fridge door… after all, rules are rules!

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