Monday, 28 February 2011
Graphic Bar in Soho
There are so many great places to drink and hang out in London, so to stand out from the crowd a bar needs to offer something a little bit different, a speciality or a unique twist. I heard about Graphic Bar last summer when a friend mentioned their rotating art displays. Not unlike Proud Galleries, Graphic exhibit the work of a promising artist every few months. They are currently showcasing Eine’s infamous ‘shutters’.
Ben Eine is a prolific street artist and has produced his pop-arty letters on shop shutters in Paris, Stockholm, Hastings and Newcastle as well as in London’s Shoreditch and Brick Lane. He first started to produce commercial graffiti through a partnership with legendary guerrilla artist, Banksy. Interestingly in 2010 David Cameron gave a gift of an Eine painting, ‘Twenty First Century City’ to President Obama. Graphic are lucky to have acquired his work for this short time, and it really compliments the space.
I was invited to Graphic for a dear friend’s birthday shindig. The venue is easy to get to, located in the centre of Golden Square in Soho, nearest tube is Piccadilly Circus. The place was jam packed when we went on a Friday evening, with visitors merrily spilling out onto the chilly streets. I squeezed my way through to the back of the place where my friends had arranged a designated area for us, still crowded but at least we could sit down.
Graphic specialises in gin, and has one of the most extensive collections in the UK. Luckily I had a gin expert by my side and so was chosen a Milly- appropriate drink. Once settled, I noticed the strange large white glasses that many of the girls were holding – moving closer for a better look, I realised that the glasses were in fact paint pots filled with most desirable gin cocktails. I went to choose one for myself. There are five options, named as different colours of paint; I decided on the white tin... a peachy flavoured concoction with lemonade, fresh lemon juice and most importantly Whitley Neill Gin. It was quite strong (gin is an acquired taste) but brilliantly mixed with an exotic variety of tastes.
This groovy little bar also offers tapas and main courses for those who arrive a bit peckish, though its real selling point is surely the inventive cocktail serving idea and array of rare gins.
Visit website here.