Just before 10pm on a recent Saturday evening, a couple ascends the staircase at the end of Lynedoch Street; she in a calf-length tan raincoat and custom-made Air Force 1s, he in a black tweed jacket and suede boots. They push at the door and walk slowly down the long avian portrait lined hall away from the bustle of the weekend. As the corridor ends in an archway opening to a space the size of a tenement living room, the maitre d’ holds them back while an impromptu photo shoot takes place on the table they’d reserved. Once their seats are available, they perch in the window close enough to the bar to watch as new friends meet old friends, drams are dispensed and discussed and the post-dinner one-for-the-roaders sidle up to the marble-topped counter. Coasters are replaced on either side of the art deco bar lamp, cordial bottles refilled and shallow water glasses kept topped up. To the right, a table of patrons discuss the view of the Indian takeaway across the road and contemplate a mixed pakora for the walk home. Over a round of drinks (Cherry Blossom Festival – Japanese whisky, Sakura, iced tea and soda; Krik? Krak! – Haitian white Agricole, camomile and tonic) they take in their surroundings: “Maybe we should have put in floor to ceiling spirits shelving and a bar when we renovated our living room,” he says. “That might have been a bit much for when it’s just the two of us,” she replies. “Maybe. But we should definitely have added a cornice shelf overflowing with ferns”. (1 Lynedoch St. book here).
12 September 2021 / Bar Reviews