Friday, 20 April 2012
Spelled out in letters on a cinema marquee of the type seen above 1960s flea-pits named, implausibly, The Savoy or The Ritz, a sign proclaims ‘Nothing To See Here.’ I beg to differ. Ruby’s, directly below, is well worth a butcher’s. Vertiginous old lino-covered stairs, lit red, form the seedy approach to what could be a knocking shop offering a free STD with purchase, or the type of 80s dodgy den frequented by Dirty Den, grim crims and bent coppers. Don’t brick it! Beyond Ruby’s irresistibly louche portal, lies the sweetest, friendliest, buzziest cellar imaginable. The only shooters you’ll find here are whisky chasers for your Shoreditch Blonde or Hoxton Stout - those are local ales, not gangsters’ bits of skirt, I should add. All peeling, distressed carmine and eau de nil plaster, retro public convenience-style glazed tiles, shonky mismatched furniture, Art Deco Alsatian dog bisque ornaments and 1960s branded drinks coasters I'm sorely tempted to nick, this engaging pit- formerly a Chinese takeaway - is a cracker. So too, the upbeat couple that owns it. Hit them up - not in a Reggie Kray way - for delish daiquiris, margaritas, Sipsmith martinis and £8 juleps served in coupes, cups, jars and milk bottles, and congratulate yourself for finding Dalston’s dishiest dive bar. The Savoy or The Ritz, it’s not, but Ruby’s is a class act in its own lovely lo-fi way.
76 Stoke Newington Rd N16