Open Thursday 10.30pm–2.30am, Friday and Saturday 10.30pm–3.30am
Obvious cultural signifiers of the ‘80s abound: tables are giant Rubik’s Cubes and there are framed Smash Hits and The Face covers with the haircuts and fashions of the time. On the walls are some cartoonish aerosol art featuring Timmy Mallett and – weirdly given it was released in 1973 – David Bowie as Aladdin Sane. Maggie’s is a basement that would probably comfortably hold about 100 people; there were about twice that many on the night I was in. Amusingly, they had sectioned off an area to accommodate the VIPs, which helped the space problem no end.
Blonde haired women with likely eating disorders in their early 20s shimmied a little while the assembled aging male sharks hiding their embryonic middle age paunches looked on lasciviously – think Patrick Bateman. A woman who saw me scrawling notes approached me. She told me that she worked for a hedge fund and that she didn’t understand how all the 21-year-olds in there could afford the drinks, which left me not knowing what to say. Lastly, she went on to tell me that all the people in here would be going somewhere else in six months’ time – so that’s her review. Staff were dressed in American Apparel neon lycra and headbands and there were one or two that didn’t look embarrassed about it.
Nightclubs in the ‘80s didn’t do food. Maggie’s is authentic in that respect.
Naming your club after Mrs Thatcher is a brave move. I can’t think of many people that split opinion more effectively. She spawned Sloane Rangers of course, so Maggie’s is a natural fit on the King’s Road. The spirit of entrepreneurial endeavour has obviously been embraced by the club, who deem it perfectly alright to ask £170 for a bottle of Snow Queen vodka (£30 in most shops) if you’re having table service. One man’s entrepreneurial endeavour is another man’s rip-off I guess. I gave up trying to get a drink at the bar as I kept getting elbowed aside by broad shouldered Ruperts waving their credit cards who ordered cocktails so numerous the bartender was kept busy for 20 minutes at a time. The pissed-looking bartender I waited for was doing his best Tom Cruise in Cocktail impression until he looked down and realised he was pouring from two vodka bottles either side of a glass onto the floor. That was my signal to go.