Modelled on New York’s speakeasy-themed bars, London’s latest watering hole, the Ballroom Basement Bar (opening March 5), summons an underground vibe in its obscure signage, low-lit rough-edged interior and focus on old-fashioned cocktails.
The cocktail menu offers just three classic libations: the Negroni, the Old Fashioned and the Margarita, priced from £7.50 – a concept created by the venue’s founder Christian Arden, who trained at The Berkeley and The Savoy before establishing London’s Hanover Grand nightclub. “The cocktails will be made strictly according to traditional recipes,” he says. The wine selection comes from independent merchant Corney & Barrow (from £16.50) and drinks are served with meatballs. During lunch, chefs expect to roll up to 1,000 beef, lamb and chicken meatballs (sourced from HG Walter butchers), alongside fish balls and a vegan option, with a side (£5.50 for a small dish and £6.90 for a large). At breakfast, Caravan coffee and home-baked pastries will also be on offer.
“We are aiming to create the same atmosphere as New York’s Please Don’t Tell and Angel’s Share,” says Arden. The stripped-back interior has exposed brick walls and industrial fittings, with tables designed by Stuart Taylor, which are handmade from reclaimed parquet flooring. The ambience will be fairly intimate as the venue holds up to 60 guests.