112 Upper Street, Islington, London, N11QN
I troll along Upper Street in north London, full of food after a late night meal, with a fresh, antagonising thirst for whiskey. As I pass restaurant after restaurant a luminous sign catches my eye. Hoping it wasn’t another Kebaby, I see that it’s Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, and it looks like a neon nirvana. From the outside, it looks small and compact with just the glow of the late night bar sign to grab your attention. After a quick nod from the bouncer, I enter Slim’s feeling like Alice in Wonderbra-land. The bar is larger than I had first thought and the ceiling is full of stained bras of all different sizes, swinging like hung corpses. I feel my bra shudder at the thought of being subjected to this full-frontal funeral but I plough on.
The bar is lined with at least thirteen different bourbons that all seem to scream ‘drink me!’ I select a 15 year old Noah’s Mill and the bartender seems impressed. The place is dark and almost solely lit by candles, while the cliché colour code of reds and blacks for all American-themed dive bars is splattered everywhere.
Though it looks like it should have a fistful of fat bikers lined up by the bar on the red leather seats with their hairy arse cracks out, it’s filled instead with 20-somethings with their dicks out (metaphorically) looking for something to put them into. Though everyone is essentially in high spirits with a fair happy hour and cheap pizza to boot. It gets loud on a Saturday night and there’s no room to sit.
There’s nothing unique about a place like this, with it’s exposed brick walls lined with predictable rock posters and they don’t seem to stretch their imagination with sister bar Aces & Eights which looks exactly the same. But, nevertheless, they are an essential part of the community, serving letches like me until I’m not able to stand, or at least until throwing my bra on the ceiling seems like a good idea. I mean, you do get a free shot.