Get ready, London’s getting a new 1940s themed underground bar called Cahoots and it opens tomorrow.
Reverting back to its roots as an air raid shelter, the Soho drinking den is inspired by a tube station in post-war London, with alcohol and illicit happenings aplenty. ‘Not another “immersive experience”‘, we hear you cry. Well a) it’s actually more of a secretive, stylised bar that just happens to have staff in costumes and character, and b) shush – you know you love it. The bar is also decked out with authentic vintage TfL tube seat fabric and a wooden, escalator-inspired stairway. Oh, now you’re interested!
Here are ten reasons you should go and check it out (and no, we’re not in cahoots with the bar, we just kinda like it).
1. The creative, elaborate cocktail menu
Seriously – it’s eight pages long and includes a smoking cocktail served in a massive clock (so a clocktail?). There are drinks served in Thermos flasks and milk bottles, ingredients like beetroot and Oxo cubes and fancy spins on old classics.
2. The staff are always in character
From the ticket officer on the door to the chaps behind the bar, all staff members have their own character straight from 1946. They’ve practised accents, adopted nicknames and even have their own personal stories behind why they’re working in a secret underground bar. Sure, sure – just get us a drink.
3. The escalator stairs
Upon entering the bar you’ll head down a staircase inspired by the wooden escalators of the 1940s London Underground. Combined with the tiled walls and the station sign outside, the entrance is a definite Instagram opportunity.
4. The snug cubby hole inspired by an air raid bunker
The tiny, dimly lit air raid bunker seating area separated from the rest of the bar is a great place to take a date; the intimate lighting and close proximity is bound to inspire some post-war bunking.
5. For a home from home
Just as people used to do when they were holed up in an air raid shelter for days on end, this underground immersive bar is furnished with comfy chairs and quirky lampshades.
© Rob Greig
6. The antiques
As well as the homely trinkets, this place has a load of antiques ranging from vintage posters and old tube signs to old TfL fabric used for the seats of a train carriage replica.
7. The train replica
Because who doesn’t love their daily commute so much that they want to spend more time sat in a train-like compartment with strangers? The difference here is that you won’t have those face-to-armpit moments, and drinking is most definitely permitted.
8. The electro swing music
The bar will host a range of 1940s-style singers and musicians, and is even considering putting on some cabaret.
9. The costumes
Costumes are very welcome and it’s a great chance to dress up in your 1940s glad rags, but no, it isn’t compulsory. Spoilsports.
10. The secrets
Insider tip – head to the back of the menu and read the envelope titled ‘Do Not Open.’ Inside you’ll find the bar’s black market specials. Go for the martini and you’ll get a cocktail served at your table from a disguised cocktail trolley.
Cahoots is at 13 Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PW.
For more secret London spots take a look at: