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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Peacock, Clapham Junction: Juju, Chelsea

Is my presence unsettling him? Or are launch night nerves and Red Bull making Lawrence Merrett, co-owner of new Clapham Junction haunt, The Peacock (pictured) come over like Road Runner? Larry’s Looney Tunes patter is not the least of tonight’s amusements: Kicking off regular weekend cabaret, set to feature crooners and burlesque, are a flame-haired Vivien Leigh lookalike playing peek-a-boo from behind ostrich feather fans, and a limber, leggy lovely whose eye-poppingly mercurial gyrations on a pole prompt date, stiff-kneed Tiffany, to muse ‘must stock up on fish oil capsules.’ Previously owner of the defunct Living in Brixton, Merrett has taken a clapped-out old boozer and filled it with clapped-out old furniture and cool Claphamites - well, cool by SW11 standards, I suppose. They’ll dig it for its draught Belgian fruit beers and trad cocktails at an unmissable two for £6, all night from Sunday to Thursday. With DJs playing from a recycled pulpit ‘til late and trippy 1960s projections, I dig it for its raggedy-ass charm; much like the maverick Merrett himself. Juju is the new offer from ex-soccer player Lee Chapman, better remembered by barflies for Teatro W1 and his missus, Leslie Ash’s collagen-fuelled trout pout. The former Po Na Na bar’s cosmetic makeover is less alarming: a sleek, shimmery, brown and gold lounge whose design budget likely had a few extra noughts tacked on to the sum spent by Merrett. King’s Road peacocks prefer their Cristal, designer vodkas by the bottle and steamed king crab claws with a side of glossy, leathery luxe and soft porn lighting. Prices are Chelsea average: £8.50 gets an espresso martini. It’s all a bit Frank Lampard, but worth a peek. Personally, I prefer Larry’s function up the Junction.

The Peacock Café, Bar & Club, 148 Falcon Rd SW11 7228 3130

Juju, 316 King’s Rd SW3 7351 5998