We’ve all played the game after a couple of cocktails. (No, not that game you dirty sod. The other game.) You’ve opened a bar. What are you naming it?
Ted and Barney called theirs Puzzles – why’s it called that? That’s the puzzle! Mine would be The After Party – partly because it’s a cool name in itself, partly to take advantage of those midnight post-pub messages. ‘Where are you going now?’ ‘The after party’. By the time people realise their after party was not a bar but a flat in Stockwell – laughing gas, anyone? – they’ll be having too much fun to care. SHOTS!
Yeah, The After Party is the ultimate bar moniker. (Don’t steal it.) But I’ll tell you what – Louche runs it close. Louche. Defined as: ‘disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.’ That, my friend, is a bar where I would happily spend an evening.
Here’s the good news: you and I can both spend an evening at Louche, because such a bar now exists on (where else) Greek Street, Soho. The bad news? Neither of us can steal the name.
Louche Soho does a pretty good job of living up to it. Friday night, the place was buzzing – DJs, cocktails, dancers, the works. (Burlesque dancers, not your mates after the third round. Although your mates would be dancing, too.)
Louche isn’t one of those bars where you sip £20 cocktails in a space the size of a broom cupboard. Louche is here to give you a night out. Count the stages – two of ‘em! (Or four of ‘em, depending on the number of cocktails you’re down.)
Louche isn’t short in the cocktail department, with 20 bespoke offerings to keep you watered. I’m sure you can also order your classic Old Fashioned and Negronis but that would be very unadventurous.) Try Loverboy (Dewar’s Caribbean Cask, salted caramel, bitters, honeycomb) which slips down as sweet and velvety as Barry White on a moonlit summer’s evening. Let the music play!
Even more fun is What’s Poppin’ (Jack Daniel’s Honey, popcorn, egg) – the popcorn floats atop the drink itself. Want something a little more grown-up? Pear 75 comprises Grey Goose La Poire, peach and prosecco. (OK, maybe not that grown-up – but still great.)
Need an energy boost? Louche Espresso is an espresso martini with added banana. No cocktail comes to more than £14, and most retail at £11. You’re not going home anytime soon. Nor need you – the place doesn’t close until half two. (Half one on Monday-Tuesday.)
And nor should you. Records Bars boasts several establishments around London – including Eastcheap Records in the City – and Louche Soho is a fine addition to the family. Live music plays throughout the week (Wednesday is jazz night) and Friday goes full-on burlesque. Get yourself to Soho. Go Louche.
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5 Greek St, London W1D 4DD; Louche Soho