Open Mon–Thu 5pm–midnight; Fri–Sun midday–midnight
The design reflects the co-owners, Ben Magid and Luke Allan’s vision for the bar. It’s somewhere people can feel relaxed and the venue is constantly evolving. The best way to describe the interior of The Shop is that it looks like a cross between a make-do, rustic bar and a white-walled art gallery. Although these two ideas seem contrary, in this instance, it does seem to work. I think this is because of the venue’s small size; no bigger than a high-street newsagent, making the experience more personable.
I was there for the press party and understandably the place was filled with relatively young professionals and arty types.
The Shop is a cocktail bar, so naturally we (myself and my girlfriend Emma) had to try everything on offer. When we went they were serving four cocktails, all custom-made. The novelty of the bar, which I’ve been told by a friend is not a completely original idea, is the fact that the cocktails come served in either re-used jam jars or milk bottles. Although it may not be the first of its kind, the standard of all of the drinks on offer was very high and also reasonably priced.
The first we tried, Once Loved (£8), was made of rum, coconut, pineapple and crème de apricot. My personal favourites were the Jan Sales (£6.50) and the Shop Assistant (£6.50). The Jan Sales was a very simple but effective mix consisting of dark spiced rum and fresh lime, topped with ginger beer, and the Shop Assistant was a slightly more complicated affair consisting of El Jimador 100% agave tequila, shaken with fresh lime and raspberries. This was also topped with a dash of lager. One drink we didn’t try, but liked the look of was the build-your-own Bloody Mary.
The menu is not only well-thought out, but is evidently the product of a group of cocktail professionals. Although the premise of The Shop may seem like a gimmick, it can stand up proudly as a cocktail bar and I’m interested to see how it develops in the coming year.
P.s. Make sure you check out the gents!