Those creative thinkers have pulled out another stop introducing Shoreditch to the Barrio family as I found out recently having attended the VIP opening for their latest addition – Barrio East.
The dying crappy “nothing bar” Avalon had finally been shut down (cue cheers all round, really was a weird place), the underground brothel walls were knocked through and bright sunshine paint and South American fusion music entered in its place to infuse Shoreditch High Street into a way of socialising that Poland and Upper Street have already embraced.
When I heard about the new branch, I’m not going to lie – part of me was saying “where on Shoreditch High Street is there space?” A bit of me got excited thinking the Drunken Monkey was closing down (another shitty bar), then I got worried that maybe it was Bar Kick that was going (love that place). So… As I have discovered, it was Avalon that bit the dust. I love what they’ve done with the place. The decor is lively and eclectic. The different room dividers (and mirror hole) is smart and cleverly thought for private events. The food is – authentic. No lie. Marinated beef, fried plantain, coconut breaded butterfly king prawns to name just a few. Don’t get me wrong, this bar is for socialising and drinking but should you be hungry, you don’t have to worry about substandard food entering a microwave oven before your belly – the food is real talk.
Whiling away the night on cocktails, performances from talented singers, Brazilian carnival dancing and Capoeira, I started to remember that it wasn’t a Friday night. Hell it wasn’t even Thursday (which wouldn’t have been so bad). It was Wednesday!
I can see this bar taking in a lot of Christmas trade this year for lunches and office parties, it’s arrived at the right time. One thing I do not see however, is the Shoreditch crew venturing here any time soon. It’s a bit too glossy and not cool enough for the Shoreditch hipsters “It’s a chain, Mon Dieu!”.
Then again, the Shoreditch hipsters don’t even go out in Dalston or London Fields any more… They party in sewers now. Oh you didn’t know?www.barrioeast.com