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Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Somewhere in London

By Chinese whisper, I hear of a speakeasy that goes by the unlikely name of The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. When I the phone number below, we’re told to turn up at a City fringe location and await further instruction. Memories of car parks off the M25 and gurning to ‘acieeed’ house at illegal raves come flooding back. Arriving at the appointed hour, we’re identified by Secret Greeter and escorted into a busy diner where all is not what it seems. My lips are sealed; but I’ll cryptically offer that the hidden entrance we’re whipped through when no one is watching, is the height of ‘cool.’  Beyond it, a ‘chill-out’ zone where Negroni and Lynchburg Leith Lemonade (the American classic laced with Scotch) are rustled up by a looker Models 1 might want to check out... if their scouts can find the place. The clandestine juke joint rocks to ballsy blues; notorious growler, Big Mama Thornton, ripping the throat out of Leiber and Stoller’s Hound Dog. No bigger than my sitting room, this deep bunker will survive nuclear Armageddon. I had hoped for unbridled debauchery and deeply dodgy behaviour but tonight’s tame collection of cockroaches look to have been rounded up at Starbucks and the lower echelons at Natwest HQ. There are some strange outfits too. Are Spam pink legs encased in bubblegum pink Lycra cycling shorts, worn under sheer tan tights with kitten heels, 'on-trend?' I consult a friend, the editor of Grazia. They are not, it transpires.  If the Mayor can rope in friskier katz and more stylish moggies and make his drinks portions a bit more generous - a £7.50 Dry Martini occupies less than half the glass it's served in - he’s in business. Bidden ‘to-de-loo’, we’re escorted out via yet another secret portal. Emerging from a dustbin, Top Cat-stylee,  to evade Officer Dibble, would have been an even better exit strategy.

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