Best New Bar Openings: August
Bar Américain, Piccadilly
Bar Américain's new manager Mickael Lenu has introduced a French twist to the menu at Zedel’s art-deco cocktail bar. His ‘L’Apero’ menu features a selection of low-ABV drinks, each one a complex combination of classic flavours. We like the sound of the ‘Spritz Américain', a mix of grapefruit, lemon, grenadine and crémant. Mickael’s personal favourite is the 'Drink of the Monk', made with yellow chartreuse, lemon, apricot and a splash of Sassy Cider. There’s also an ‘Americano’ which blends coffee bean-infused Byrrh – a French spiced sweet vermouth – and Lillet Rouge from Bordeaux. Finally comes a twist on the traditional ‘Garibaldi’, a sweet and savoury combination of citrus foam and artichoke liqueur Cynar. The perfect place for a pitstop before dinner in Brasserie Zédel or a night of jazz in Crazy Coqs.
20 Sherwood Street, Piccadilly, W1F 7ED
Blind Tiger, Soho
This month DUM Biryani House launched The Blind Tiger, a late-night lock-in for the revellers of Soho. The biryani restaurant has created a downstairs after-hours bar menu that conjures the illicit drinking dens of Hyderabad. The Blind Tiger (a nickname given to speakeasies in the 20s) also serves small plates and snacks that pay tribute to the flavours of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Dishes include pumpkin papdi chaat, a selection of crisp flatbreads with masala pumpkin, yoghurt and chutney, and hot and sour kodi vepudu wings with crispy ginger. The subterranean haunt has shaken up the previous cocktail menu, mixing nightcaps such as the ‘Zaffrani Zamana’ with saffron-infused whisky, Angostura bitters and cane syrup, and ‘Gande Sapne’, a punchy vodka-based cocktail with cardamom, sesame seeds and coffee liqueur.
187 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 8ZB
The team behind much-loved London venues Queen of Hoxton and The Book Club, as well as Brighton’s Patterns, will open a multi-arts bar and club in Hoxton at the start of September. A 300-capacity live space will host gigs and club nights programmed in collaboration with nearby Village Underground and EartH. The genre-spanning club nights already include residencies from inclusive LGBTQ+ Bollywood powerhouse Hungama, girl-power gang Pussy Palace, house, disco and techno party Naturalia, the female-led immersive collective Shotgun Carousel, and Village Underground favourites The Heatwave Presents. Billing itself as ‘the most colourful bar in London’ it will showcase a bold cocktail menu and the live room will be fitted with a bespoke LED lighting installation designed by Burning Man lighting sculptor Christopher Schard.
2-4 Hoxton Square, Hackney, N1 6NU; coming soon
Double Standard, King’s Cross
The former Camden Town Hall Annex in King’s Cross has been restored to house The Standard’s first property outside America. The modernist hotel has 266 bedrooms and two restaurant/bars by Adam Rawson, former Chef of the Year at the Young British Foodies awards. Inspired by Britain’s island geography, Isla focuses on coastal cuisine and seasonal British produce accompanied by a selection of minimal intervention wines, while Double Standard is geared towards casual drinking and dining. Inspired by traditional pub classics and NYC dive-bar food, Double Standard serves craft beers, wine and classic cocktails alongside Adam’s late-night menu. Heavy-set wooden doors, textured glass and TfL-inspired upholstery capture the cosy feeling of a British local, while pastel tiled flooring, rounded soft-pink shelving and an exposed felt ceiling are unexpected design elements that add a touch of playfulness.
10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8EG
Currently sitting at No. 28 in the World’s 50 Best Bars, Scout in Hackney has entered a new era with Rich Woods (aka The Cocktail Guy) joining Matt Whiley as co-partner and co-owner. To celebrate, Rich and Matt have launched a fresh menu, which will evolve as produce comes in and out of season, while foraged ingredients and house fermentations join forces to create drinks with inspired flavour combinations. Despite the shakeup, the ethos of waste-free Scout will remain the same, with the team using only produce sourced from the British Isles.
224 Graham Road, Hackney, E8 1BP
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