New Evaristo Club
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Keep your eyes peeled for this one: it's sunk beneath Greek Street, accessed through a dodgy-looking doorway and a seriously scruffy staircase. If there’s a less salubrious introduction to a bar in London then, well, we’d like to see it. Or not.
These days, the term ‘speakeasy’ is bandied about with reckless abandon by bar owners desperate to adorn their venue with an elusive, exclusive and illicit allure yet few are the genuine McCoy – not least because if you’re shouting about what you’re doing, then you’re not a genuine speakeasy.
This downtrodden drinking den and sort-of members club (you may be asked to sign in), however, is refreshingly free of any such affectation. It was formerly called Trisha’s (aka The Hideout), and there’s a small bar, a scattering of tables and chairs and pictures of boxers, mafia types and Italian football teams adorning the worn walls.
A friendly Staffordshire bull terrier slopes about the place, and the manager sits on a stool sipping wine. There’s a very small courtyard out the back and only one proper lavatory. It looks like the kind of place where someone would get whacked in ‘The Sopranos’ – except there was an episode of ‘Emmerdale’ showing on our visit.
True to a real speakeasy, the drink selection is pretty average. There are some bottled beers, a couple of wines and a quite random selection of spirits. Mention must be made of the wines adorned with pictures of Mussolini and Hitler. If you're hungry, there's always crisps and nuts. Not much else.
The New Evaristo Club has some very devoted regulars. If they aren't entertainment enough, there are some jazz nights. And there’s always ‘Emmerdale’.
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