The people behind inimitable East London pizza joint Voodoo Ray's and Dalston Superstar are launching Ray’s Bar, a new basement cocktail bar on Kingsland Road.
Punters who choose to follow the drinks menu as intended, split up as it is into aperitifs, mains and desserts will be in for a long boozy night. You won’t even be able to crack into one of ‘mains’ until it’s past midnight, giving you all the more reason to hunker down for the night. There’ll be long and short concoctions, plus shots on offer. And if you find yourself in desperate need of something to soak it all up, you’ll be able to order a pizza from Voodoo Rays, which is just upstairs - most convenient.
The cocktail menu will usually run you £8 a drink, and is designed by a host of cocktail experts from Lab Bar who’ve selected handcrafted spirits, fresh ingredients and homemade bitters. First up there’ll be the ‘Shady Pines’, made with Beefeater 24, Strega, elderflower and rosemary, or the Prosecco-based ‘Pink Flamingo’ made Campari and rhubarb.
For ‘mains’, you’ll be able to choose from drinks like the ‘Rio Cross’, made with Jamaican coconut rum Koko Kanu. Or, if it’s after midnight, order the ‘Tunnel Dancer’ with Lagavulin whiskey and bourbon, an eye-wateringly strong tribute to the dearly missed Dalston venue which closed in August.
Dessert cocktails, if you make it that far, will include the sugary ‘Sensational Sherry’ with dark rum, dark cacao and cream, or the ‘Labyrinth’ with mezcal and vermouth, which will cost £11.
As with so many venues in East London where shabby chic can so easily go the wrong way, atmosphere will be key. It’s designed to feel very much like the kind of den a name like ‘Ray’s Bar’ conjures up. “Think Tokyo back alley basement bar with an East London twist,” says its designer Heather Pistor.
Ray’s Bar opens 3 November at 95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, E8 2PB. Open Sunday – Wednesday 6pm-1am, Thursday 6pm–2am, Friday - Saturday 6pm-3am. Follow Ray’s Bar on Twitter @Rays_Bar.