Party Earth Review While it’s true that prohibition-style speakeasies are nothing new, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town may be the only one that’s accessed through a refrigerator. A retro SMEG handcrafted in Italy, to be exact, that’s inauspiciously... ... read full review
12-16 Artillery Lane
London E1 7LS
London Overground: Shoreditch High Street; Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines: Liverpool Street
020 7078 9639
M–Th 5pm–midnight, F–Su noon–midnight
The City, London –
While it’s true that prohibition-style speakeasies are nothing new, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town may be the only one that’s accessed through a refrigerator.
A retro SMEG handcrafted in Italy, to be exact, that’s inauspiciously tucked in the corner of the cozy American-style diner The Breakfast Club.
After asking staff to “see the Mayor,” patrons pass through the SMEG and proceed down a staircase lit by an arrow-shaped sign promising THRILLS below.
A wooden door with a ship’s porthole soon follows, opening to reveal an underground bar where insurance brokers, artsy East Londoners, and trendy shoppers from the nearby Spitalfields markets all unite to perch on mismatched stools around stainless steel tables.
Cocktail purists lean against the timber walls and sip classic martinis, as the more adventurous go for house specials like the chili and lemongrass margarita or a Rosco Pisco Train.
Worn armchairs by the corner fireplace, meanwhile, attract couples who cozy in and discuss the several prominent paintings of mock ancestral founders, including one blinged out Granmaster Flash – a snazzy old dame who looks a lot like The Queen.
Despite the imposed secrecy, the venue’s vibe is relaxed. Anyone wondering if The Mayor takes itself seriously need only glance at the wall beneath the taxidermy, where another sign reminds guests that “no heavy petting is allowed.”
Alice had to enter a rabbit hole to find her Wonderland, but festive and friendly Londoners prefer to fall down a fridge to enjoy the alternate world of The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town.
Arriving before 6:30pm promises the best chance of getting in to Scaredy, but if it’s full you can always have a few drinks at The Breakfast Club while you wait for space to open up. Also, remember to follow the house rules, one of which clearly reminds visitors not to exit via the fridge…there’s another secret door for that, which leads you out of the BC’s bathroom!
Chilled-out city slickers, Spitalfields shoppers weighed down with bags, retro vintage junkies, cocktail seekers, and weekend suits looking to shed their ties, late 20s to late 30s.
Diverse mix of tunes resonates from old-school speakers, including rhythm and blues, hip-hop, disco, and funk.
Bar snacks include cheesy fries, olives, and halloumi skewers. Happy Hour daily 5–6pm.
Bar snacks £3–£6.50. Beer £3.90–£9, wine £4.50–£8.50/glass or £14.50–£36.50/bottle, cocktails £8–£9, cider £3.90.
Funky cool to trendy: Penguin polos with casual jeans and hoodies, retro knitted grandma jumpers, oversized leopard print coats, tailored suits, smart dresses.
Thursday to Saturday evenings for the largest and most diverse crowds, though entry is not guaranteed if venue is at capacity.
The Shoreditch (145 Shoreditch High Street) is an eccentrically styled bar and club that draws a diverse crowd with unique cocktails and two dance floors.