Through a posh West London apartment building, down a corridor and to the left, lies an unassuming black door labelled Barts. Through this door is an enclosed space covered from wall to ceiling in black and white pages from a comic book and another door with a bell. I press the bell.
After a few murmurs from the other side, I’m met with a pair of curious eyes through the sliding peephole. “Yes?” the eyes ask. Then the sound of many locks and bolts being undone before I’m finally let in. This is Barts, Chelsea’s hidden drinking den.
I am here tonight for the launch of a new menu, in a style like no other I’ve seen before – a comic book. How does a bar serve its drinks through a comic book, I hear you ask? Through the action-packed story behind the bar’s founder, Uncle Barts, of course!
Legend has it that Uncle Barts and his gangsters set up this speakeasy in the 1920s prohibition era. Hidden inside one of the many apartment buildings in Chelsea, they were able to operate their illegal activity with the bar disguised as an elusive private apartment.
The new menu allows you to read this shocking tale as it travels from the streets of Chicago to London’s Sloane Avenue whilst enjoying a drink selected from themed chapters. Amongst the range are the likes of Sweetest Revenge for those who like the sugar rush, or Bitter & Deadly for those who prefer something sharper.
I was pleasantly surprised by the extensive choices on offer, concocted in creative and innovative ways. I slowly worked my way through chapters, enjoying the likes of Pepper-For-A-Beeting (Copperhead gin, lemon juice, red pepper, beetroot syrup and cloudy apple juice) and Gin O’Clock Bedrock (Hibiscus-infused Star of Bombay gin, Carlo Alberto sweet vermouth, red wine reduction, orange bitters and apricot liqueur). But if cocktails aren’t your thing, there’s a generous classic drinks menu at the back for all your regular tipples.
Along with the comic book menu and drinks, guests were treated to a performance from the Haywood Sisters – a trio who put a swing spin on contemporary music. The bar often hosts live music nights so it’s worth checking out before you visit.
Barts is not your average night out. If you’re looking for something different, that offers you an experience rather than just a drink, then join in and visit London’s worst kept secret.
If you liked this post, check out: 8 Healthy Cocktails To Drink In London
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