Thursday, 22 September 2011

Venn Street Records, Clapham Common 17/20

Location: Venn Street, 10 seconds from Clapham Common


Visit: Sunday afternoon

To Note? Kitchen is due to open very shortly with the promise of excellent pizzas
Ambiance 5/5
Design 4/5
Drinks 3/5
Staff 4/5
Extra LBS star: Not this time, but maybe after 2nd Oct...

Venn Street Records opens at 5pm on a Sunday. We were allowed in at 6.05. That is a full 65 minutes of happy hour missed - I have had better starts to bars that I am going to review. Saying that, we were obviously not the only ones waiting as within half an hour most tables were packed and the atmosphere was buzzing.

We based ourselves at the bar where we talked to both the barmen (thanks Aaron!) and the locals whilst they ordered - we even had a Will Ferrell look-alike pass by. The only difficulty was hearing my friend as the music was pumping out from every corner and as good as it was - and yes, records are their hallmark - at times it seemed like I would be waking up with a sore throat. Thank goodness we left before the live music got started in that small space.

We worked our way through a Strawberry Mule, Venn Street Manhattan, Sour Record and Stairs Julep. These were all good, and were sweetened up or down on request with generous portions of alcohol too. My question is can these guys really go off the menu? I am not sure...perhaps it was too busy a night to fairly judge.

The bar was all brick walls, neon lights and stacks of vinyl. It worked, and it was refreshing following the endless vintage bars of the East End. We all love a speakeasy but sometimes we just want a bar that is a bar. So it does not make it to the "special LBS star", but it is a good venue for cocktails in an area that specialises in substance over style.

And the mysterious reference to the 2nd October - a 16-piece big band is stopping by for the evening, where are they going to put them? Hang them from the ceiling? I don't know but I am definitely going along to find out!

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