Cocktails and hipsters at speakeasy style bar
I vaguely remember a time when I used to be cool. It was when I knew what bars were hip, and what restaurants were happening. And the fact that I use ‘hip’ and ‘happening’ shows how far I’ve fallen.
Of course London is a big city and the sheer number of bar, restaurant and club openings make it nigh impossible for all but the best PRs to be on top of them all. However I’ve always felt that I should be able to keep abreast of what’s going on in my own hoods. By which I mean Brixton for home turf, and the City / East London for work turf.
Yet when I was asked to go to the best bar I’ve been to for a long time - certainly this year - the Discount Suit Company off Petticoat Lane, I discovered that it’s not only been open for some 18 months, a life time in bar world; but I’ve been working no more than 500 metres away and never heard of it.
The Discount Suit Company isn’t easy to find for first-timers. Located, as advertised, beneath a Discount suit company, this basement bar has the frontage one might expect from a Soho address with a red light in the window. Descending the narrow staircase, the (very low ceilinged) bar is all speakeasy style exposed brick and vintage mismatched furniture. On a Tuesday night it was full of East London hipsters and Tatler debutante bloggers checking out their new winter cocktail menu. Crowded, bustling, and relatively high volume thanks to the DJ; this isn’t a place to celebrate a wedding anniversary. It is a place to have some mighty fine drinks though courtesy of the sharp, knowledgeable and very friendly bar staff. In fact, despite its tick-box list of hipster factors, the venue has a less pretentious feel than some of its Shoreditch peers. And did I mention the drinks? I tried one cocktail that was three blends of whisky – my least favourite spirit. And guess what? I loved it. Downside? Well it is small, and when it’s busy I’m sure those cocktails take a while to arrive. Also, apparently the suits have taken a liking to it, so Thursday’s and Fridays are probably a rather different vibe. But that doesn’t matter when there are so many plus points.
I will never be considered cool again. But I will visit the Discount Suit Co again, because this place most certainly has that hip factor. Something I can’t see changing for the foreseeable future.
On a scale of * to *****
For seeing and being seen ****
Boozing and schmoozing *****
Serving and pouring *****
DISCOUNT SUIT CO.
29a Wentworth Street, London, E1 7TB
TEL. 020 7247 8755