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Friday, 27 July 2012

Birthdays/ Rita's Bar and Dining, Dalston


Forget events at Stratford. A 100-metre strip of Stoke Newington Road hosts another sport in which Britain reigns supreme. Street style. In the 2012 sartorial dash, the beardy gays, nu-Edwardian faux-gay fogeys and fash-forward Twiglets at deeply Dalston new-kid-on-the-block, Birthdays, are gold medal contenders. Housed in a nihilist post-industrial concrete shell of the type favoured by music video directors circa Joy Division, this joyous jumpin' joint is so utterly zeitgeist, it might be a branch of trend-chasing Ted Baker by this time next year. Get in now for £6 rinses - Hibiscus Margarita, Dark and Stormy and Negroni - or ice-cold Desperados courtesy of resident peripatetic pop-up Rita’s Bar and Dining whose more-addictive-than-crack beef patty melt (£5) is among the highs on a short menu of low rider  street chow that's sending foodie bloggers into Twitpic frenzy. At the bar, Edie Sedgwick reincarnated shows me the wellies she’s customising for Bestival, inquiring whether a) I also plan to attend and b) I’m here to see Cerebral Ballzy, a Brooklyn punk outfit (appaz), appearing tonight in the live music lounge/ pogo pit-cum-sauna downstairs. Like Carrie Bradshaw, checking out some Williamsburg hipster scene where 30 counts as dead, I get to thinking: ‘Have I had too many birthdays to be at Birthdays?'
33-35 Stoke Newington Rd N16 8BJ