Alphabet Bar61-63 Beak StreetSohoLondonW1R 3LF
Telephone: 0171 439 2190
Fax: 0171 439 2195
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Bar opening times:
Monday to Friday - 11am to 11pm
Saturday - 3pm to 11pm
Sunday - Closed
Food available: Monday to Saturday - 11am to 10.30pm
Music: Funk, Hip Hop, Acid Jazz, Drum and Bass. Eclectic but cool.
Dress: It's Media land - casual but image concious.
People: Young, creative, hip.
You'll recognise The Alphabet by the stylish glass and concrete frontage and blue clock. You may have to wait a few minutes to get in - especially at the weekends - as the management's policy is to keep the place pleasantly full rather than rammed to the rafters.
Once inside you have a choice of the informal ground floor restaurant bar, or the booze-only basement with a funky atmosphere and a barman who doubles up as the DJ.
Upstairs has proper tables which are perpetually taken, but you can almost always find a pew amongst the assorted old car seats, weathered leather sofas and armchairs strewn around the dive-bar.
Artwork is constantly on display both upstairs and down - when I last visited there were photographs of Cuba and its people in the basement, and the floor itself is a giant yellow map of Soho.
All the staff have a refreshingly friendly attitude and it's a funky place to spend the evening - unlike many places it's par for the course to find yourself chatting to people who are, shock. Horror!, not in the group you arrived with! Interestingly, it was also at The Alphabet that First Tuesday (www.firsttuesday.com) was born in October 1998, and that caught on in 100 cities and 42 countries around the world.
n.b. This will become part of The Gazelle's Guide to eating, drinking, and being merry in London Town - a metaode that's in the pipeline, so forgive me if it seems a little odd sitting here on its own. ;-)