Party Earth Review An inconspicuous door adorned with a small plaque of Nightjar’s namesake bird is the only evidence of the stellar live music that awaits in this vintage-themed basement hideout – an ironic notion considering the nightjar... ... read full review
129 City Road
London EC1V 1JB
Northern Line: Old Street
020 7253 4101
Tu–W 6pm–1am, Th–Sa 6pm–3am, Su 6pm–midnight
Shoreditch / Brick Lane, London –
An inconspicuous door adorned with a small plaque of Nightjar’s namesake bird is the only evidence of the stellar live music that awaits in this vintage-themed basement hideout – an ironic notion considering the nightjar’s call sounds like a fan belt slowly stripping off an air compressor.
A swanky homage to early 20th-century America, this small but lively watering hole gives a diverse crowd of affluent professionals, tatted musicians, and young men on the make a taste of Roaring Twenties opulence in a space loosely modeled after a Prohibition-era speakeasy.
Inside the den, mellow partiers settle in at the bar or grab one of the candlelit tables where they are greeted by a palate cleanser of lemongrass-, cucumber-, or ginger-infused water and a jar of popcorn designed to fortify their stomachs for cocktails from another age – and seemingly another dimension.
With options like The Ladybird – a rum-based drink dusted with a mysteriously sweet powder – and The BBC – a smoking, absinthe-infused creation poured over a baseball-sized piece of ice – cocktail enthusiasts can choose from signature libations that are as dazzling to look at as they are to taste.
As young couples chat it up in the cozy library room in back, music fans take seats closer to the front stage, poised for the swing, blues, and jazz bands that complement but rarely overpower the chorus of conversation and laughter that keeps this bar abuzz until last call.
With its mind-bending cocktails and eclectic live music, Nightjar transports drinkers to a ritzy bygone era of style, swing, and savoir-faire.
Cocktail connoisseurs, young couples, music aficionados, and Americans enjoying the nostalgic U.S. vibe, 20s to 40s.
Live bands play swing, blues, and jazz music from 9pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Small plate menu including canapés, appetizers, and bar snacks. Standing not allowed; all guests must take a seat. Reservations strongly recommended.
Cover charge £4/Th, £7/Sa. Bar snacks £3+. Beer £4+, wine £5–£14/glass or £18–£45+/bottle, cocktails £8.50–£10+.
Cocktail chic: designer threads, lounge suits, slicked-back hair, cocktail dresses, stilettos, anything with an American vintage edge.
Wednesdays for free live music and Saturdays for popular swing bands.
Worship Street Whistling Shop (63 Worship Street) provides an English alternative to the popular speakeasy theme.