The Bootlegger — best new Prohibition Bar — visit before word gets out, and it becomes another waiting list nightmare.
Dance away the night in style with live toe-tapping tunes, and cocktails so deliciously lethal they should be illegal. The Bootlegger has all you’d expect from a speakeasy bar — it’s sexy, sassy, sophisticated, AND THEN SOME!
This 5th of December marked the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition – historically known as a failed experiment to ban alcohol in America, but successful in that saloons closed and were replaced by a new social drinking culture: men and women drank together at secret speakeasy bars.
In celebration of this significant historical period, a new bar, The Bootlegger has opened in Lime Street (doors opened on 20th November). If you like the Prohibition-style speakeasy bar scene, you’ll love this hidden haven. And if you work in the financial heart of London, it’s a place to easily escape to post work.
Step back in time to the 1920s into an enchanting, genuine looking, Prohibition feel basement bar; lit up with many a candle and filled with quirky furniture, vintage fittings, and an array of legitimate looking items from the 1900s (even the toilets have a 1920s feel, with authentic radio broadcasts playing in the background).
Secretly drink away into the night in style — The Bootlegger offers a tantalizing variety of cocktails as stylish as the bar, and the live music gets the night off to a blast. If you’re a fan of NightJar in Shoreditch, you’ll love it here — similar in style, music, and cocktails, but it maintains all the sass and sophistication of the era whilst providing a more laid back friendly service. Most importantly, there’s space to dance the night away in whilst the live band play. (NightJar’s great, but if you fancy a dance with your cocktails The Bootlegger is the place to be — you’ll find there’s plenty of space to shake it off until the early hours of the morning.)
Open Mon-Friday 4pm till late. For lovers of live music, Thursdays and Fridays are the nights to go — from 8.30-10.30pm enjoy a diverse mix of superb class rhythms, and current numbers, from regulars Louis Hall and The Cash Cows (think the roaring 20s, Blues, Jazz, Charleston and Motown, as well as twists on current tracks). I had the delight of catching The Cash Cows (www.thecashcowsrock.com) on a Friday night — versatile, unique, and infectious — you won’t be able to resist getting out your dancing feet when they’re playing. If you miss the live music, the bar plays a mix of tunes every night — so don’t forget those dancing shoes!
The staff are charming, and offer bar or table service. For something strong, but with an addictive kick, I’d recommend The Bribe. The name is fitting — not a drink for the faint-hearted. This whisky concoction stirred with Punt e Mes sweet vermouth, salted caramel, and maraschino cherry juice, with a dash of orange bitters, is the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. With a delightful salted caramel kick, and orange tones, it’s no innocent chocolate orange. If you have more of a sweet tooth I’d recommend the Booze Hound — a delicious concoction which mixes Goslings Black Bermuda Rum, and ginger beer among other treats — you could easily get drunk on this. For those who like to explore all flavours, I challenge you to try the Supply and Demand (interested to know who likes this cocktail). It’s a bitter Gin and Vodka mix, with an overwhelming amount of fresh ginger — personally it’s not my cup of tea, but I’m sure it’s someones.
One to remember for inventiveness is the Hinky Flip. If you order it, don’t be offended (as I was) when the bartender hands you a flask reading ‘Emergency Drinking Water’ in a book — this is actually the cocktail, and is just one example of how carefully thought out each beverage is.
Handy Tip: they don’t have snacks on the menu (as of yet) so make sure you eat beforehand, as the cocktails are strong. (I’m talking proper Prohibition style cocktails — no cheap watered down nonsense — it’s not for the empty stomach!) If you ask with a smile you may get treated to complimentary light snacks with your drinks — these come in the form of cheese, olives, or cold cut meats (depending on the night). It’s no meal though — if you’re drinking on an empty stomach you wont last long!
There’s no entrance fee so check them out whilst you’re still able to stroll in without a reservation. Once word gets out, I doubt it will be long before they are packed out. So get your dancing feet down there before the waiting list appears (140 max capacity). We know us Londoners hate to wait, right?!
Currently on Saturdays and Sundays the bar is closed, except for private hire.
Check out their website here: http://thebootlegger.co.uk/.
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