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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Fox Bar, Brixton

This new Brixton booze bunker is in Piano House, a creative hub in a converted Victorian warehouse. I remember this dive from my one previous visit when it was Substation South, owned by Erik Yu (Opium/ Burlock/ 68 and Boston). With my fashion show producers hat on, I'd hired its DJ, Martin Confusion, to develop a trip-hop soundtrack for a client - Katharine Hamnett, if my memory serves me well. What I do distinctly remember was rocking up at the club to discuss ideas, only to find his gig was a raunchy gay uniform night. Not much was achieved: well, you try concentrating, surrounded by 'squaddies' in the noddy, hard at it on manoeuvres that are far from Geneva conventional! Having been totally transformed (and doused in bleach, I trust), the sometime sex-pit now hosts Soho House’s latest whizz; a drinking den inspired by the old taverns of Chicago, in which city the same group’s original Fox Bar is based on traditional English taverns, I'm told. Confused? Here’s the 411. Fox Bar sits in a narrow arch next door to a branch of Soho House’s Chicken Shop roll-out. There’s barely room for thirty souls in what feels like a sanitised take on the sort of joint Frankie Machine - the fly by night hero of Chicago novelist Nelson Algren’s The Man with the Golden Arm - might have drunk at with his dissolute buds before graduating to injecting his veins with something a little stronger than Banana Penicillin, one of the drinks on a list worked up by Soho House’s global creative bar manager, Tom Kerr. Other classy £8 fixes (pun intended) that might have been less detrimental to Frankie’s health than his class A intake include Old Pal (a Rittenhouse rye Negroni), Southside Collins, Boulevardier and Nitro (espresso) Martini, the latter two on tap. Chuck in chicken bits and craft beers; Brixton’s baddest will be quickly hooked.

Piano House, 9 Brighton Terrace SW9 8DJ Facebook Fox-Bar-Brixton