17 Manette Street, London W1D 4AS
Whenever I think of somewhere to go drinking, day or night, Crobar is always my top choice and it has been for years.
The relationship between Crobar and I dates back to 2009, when I first laid eyes on the bar. This small, dark room was reminiscent of a teenage boys bedroom with its band posters and comic strips on the wall; this place, would soon become my second living room… well actually my only living room. I was spending 3 to 4 nights a week drinking Long Island Ice Tea from plastic jugs and cheap bottles of red wine. I saw this place more often than some people see their lovers.
Located just off of Soho, in between chaotic Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road, Crobar’s clientele is a mixture of regular “heavy metal fans”, curious tourists, suits and weekend warriors. You tend to have a pretty good idea of who is in attendance depending on whether Pantera is playing on the jukebox, and let’s be honest we all hope it’s not.
Crobar, is not your typical pub for several reasons; firstly, it is one of the only pubs in London to have a quality jukebox which plays anything from Iron Maiden, Obituary, Deep Purple and Venom. Another noticeable difference is that Crobar doesn’t have any beers, ciders or ales on draft. Their speciality lays on their spirits, cocktails and most importantly their bourbons. Besides the all time favourite Bulleit and coke (or my personal favourite Bulleit and cranberry) you can try their own deliciously infused bourbons: chocolate bourbon, gingerbread bourbon, peach bourbon and apple pie bourbon. They have a range of averagely priced cocktails and shots on the menu with names inspired by rock and heavy metal songs, such as ‘Turbo Lover’, ‘Highway To Hell’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’. If you like to start your night early you can catch their “Happy Hour” between 4pm and 9pm on almost any given night. Don’t make the mistake to go on a Sunday though, it’s closed!
The toilets are a complete experience- only Satan knows how much stuff has gone in there. However, it’s certainly not as bad as some of its counterpart pubs but nonetheless, an experience. As you stumble downwards towards the toilets beware of the invisible step which has sent many flying. Once there, you are greeted with the warm smell of urine and from experience, I know that this is often from all of the men who either don’t aim correctly, or decide that the sink was just as good a place to hover their penis over (or maybe they were curious to watch what they looked like taking a piss in the mirror).
Nowadays, you are welcomed on the windows by stickers of Iron Maiden’s Eddie, urging you to come in and take a sip of the Devil’s Brew, and when you enter you are greeted by the friendly bar staff. Despite sucking the life out of my bank account, I’ve had some of the craziest nights (many which I don’t remember) and met some of my best friends at The Crobar. I can’t stop coming. Especially if when I walk in, I am are greeted with an offer of a cream pie*.
*Cream Pie is when a guy….makes a drink with Crobar chocolate bourbon and milk. Courtesy of Steffen McAwesomesauce.