The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
This past weekend, Emily (my travel companion and bestest buddy) and I finally got ourselves down to The Breakfast Club at an acceptable cocktail-drinking time (to be fair, I generally think any time after eleven is an acceptable time to drink cocktails, but this was a Sunday evening – classy), and made it through the fridge door into ‘The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’ – the hidden cocktail bar underneath the busy restaurant.
Now, in case you somehow think I have transformed into the kind of person who goes to secret underground cocktail bars like it ain’t no thing… confession time. I love the idea of speakeasies and I enjoy my cocktails with a good helping of mystery, but having to say a special password or give a nod and a wink to the right people makes me so nervous. I’m terrified that they won’t know what I’m on about, or deem me too uncool to be in on the secret. After some frantic googling, I discovered that if you want to drink in The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, you’re supposed to go to The Breakfast Club and ‘ask to see the mayor’. In the end, we wandered in through the distinctive yellow door, asked if we could have a drink ‘downstairs’ (accompanied by pointed hand gestures towards the door of the fridge) and our friendly chaperone immediately led us downstairs, through a dark corridor lit by neon lights, and into the tiny basement which houses one of London’s best kept secrets.
Because of its size, this tiny venue has so much character, and the well-stocked bar is surrounded by high tables lit by dim yellow light, with all sorts of bright retro artwork (mostly feline related) decorating the walls and doors. The menu is incredible, and includes a copy of the ‘rules’ of the venue (including instructions to leave through the toilets so as not to draw attention to the secret activities of the mayor).
We honestly struggled to choose our drinks because everything on the menu looks exotic and delicous, but in the end I chose something with gin infused with Lapsang tea, and Emily chose something with two different types of rum in it (something which I think sums up our drinking habits pretty nicely 😉 ). We were ready to go to the bar, but our host (waiter/ enthusiastic owner of a Hawaiian shirt) took our order, chatted to us, and then whisked away to have our cocktails made, returning a little while later with our drinks, a flaming scotch bonnet chilli in a shot glass, and an anecdote about the couple sitting two tables away from us (who, it seemed, were on a disastrous first date). After giving Emily careful instructions to blow out the flames before drinking her drink, and how to add the scotch bonnet-infused liquor without burning her eyes out (actually not that easy, as it turned out!), he flew off to serve other customers, checking in on us every now and then and laughing at how slowly we were drinking our (incredibly strong!) drinks.
The cocktails were honestly delicious, and although they range from £8-£15, the whole experience is so worth it. I loved the fun and intimate atmosphere, and it’s a great place to go for drinks with friends (as long as you’re not too big a group – it’s a small place!). You can order food if you arrive earlier in the evening, and they have a great selection of ‘posh’ bar snacks, as well as the option to order food from the restaurant upstairs at certain times. I don’t know about you, but Breakfast Club food plus amazing cocktails sounds like a pretty incredible combination!
All the staff are so friendly and relaxed, and will happily recommend cocktails if you’re not sure what to choose.
The bar itself is underneath the Liverpool St/ Spitalfields Breakfast Club, and is easy to find once you know where it is, but if it’s your first visit, you might want to look up directions beforehand as it’s hidden down an alleyway and it would be easy to walk straight past!
I will be going back for more cocktails as soon an I can, and I highly recommend this little bar for date nights and drinks with friends – just don’t tell the mayor I told you!
P.S. Although the menu tells you to exit through the toilets (rather than through the fridge door) to preserve the Mayor’s mysteries, they mean the upstairs toilets. Not the toilets downstairs. You have to retrace your steps upstairs, and then instead of exiting through the fridge, simply take the door to the left of it and this will bring you out into the upstairs toilets, and from there back into the Breakfast Club itself. You know, just in case you were planning to spend ten minutes frantically searching for an exit that doesn’t exist, and then give all the bar staff a good laugh as they have to escort you to the actual exit. Not that that happened to me or anything 😉