Us Londoners just love a secret. Be it that corridor at King’s Cross which is actually a shortcut to the Victoria line, an immersive pop-up without an address, or a bar you can only get into by walking through a Smeg fridge.
The fridge in question sits in the corner of all-day brekkie restaurant The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields, and conceals stairs down to subterranean good-time cocktail lair The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town. Last year a new Breakfast Club launched in Battersea and brought with it a bachelor pad-style bar accessible only through a hidden launderette. Spot a pattern?
We did too, and so when we got wind that a new Breakfast Club was opening in London Bridge we were hoping for more than bacon and eggs from the outset. It launched a couple of weeks ago on Southwark Street, and we weren’t disappointed with the result.
Hungry or not, if you’re a fan of late night drinking without the crowds, you’ll want to pop your head into the restaurant and declare your intention to get lucky with one of the restaurant’s staff. All being well you won’t be mistaken for a sleaze and booted out, but will instead be whisked down a steep staircase, through the restaurant’s working kitchen and up to a hotel-style swipe-card door. It’s through here that the getting lucky takes place.
Call Me Mr Lucky, as this place is known, is a dimly lit space of bare brick walls and makeshift concrete flooring; more bunker than bar. A small central service area hogs much of the little available room, and is flanked by wonderfully tacky coloured lanterns, strung up, as if awaiting the arrival a kids' party. A wheel of fortune on the back wall wouldn’t feel out of place at an infants' shindig either, though we’re not sure the option of winning a shot for everyone present is in keeping with most parental guidelines.
The cocktail list majors on tequila but covers most bases, sticking to the fun and the quirky rather than anything that takes itself too seriously. That’s not to say the drinks are anything short of bloody good.
A Lucky Rostini mixes tequila, plum liqueur, Campari and black walnut bitters to create a richly bitter drink that’s best described as a Mexican Negroni. The Stuart’s Germain is a more refreshing number, pulling together kaffir lime-infused tequila, elderflower liqueur, fresh lime and cardamom to bright, thirst-quenching effect. Stepping away from tequila, a Warner Brothers comes served in a medicine bottle and blends popcorn-infused Monkey Shoulder whisky with maple syrup, wheat beer and lemon, among other things. It’s sweet, nutty-tasting and alarmingly easy to drink; in short, our favourite.
And then there’s the shot. Oh the shot. It comes in three parts, and is a veritable rollercoaster of pain and emotion. It kicks off with a rather decent tequila to knock back and is chased by a fiery habanero and jalapeno chilli number that will set your tongue alight, before being quelled by a final shot of mint-infused coconut water. Crikey is the word. It’s a fiver a go, and it’s a lot of fun.
Cocktails are a reasonable £8 each, while there’s also a short selection of wines and beers (from Redchurch Brewery) available. Music is of the cheesy ilk, spanning eras and styles but sticking firmly to songs you’ll know the words to.
Popping behind the bar to spin the wheel of fortune is not only allowed but encouraged. On one of our visits we were faced with having to tell the whole bar a joke (it was hilarious, though no one seemed to get it), and on another someone managed to win a shot for everyone. We didn’t witness anyone land on the ‘go home’ option, so can’t confirm how strictly it’s enforced.
This is a place that's full of fun and we feel lucky to have found it. We suggest you do your best to get lucky as soon as you can; after all, it won't be long before everyone's in the know.
Also see our list of Ten Secret And Hidden Cocktail Bars in London.