At a time when fleeting pop-up bars filled with an index of quirks and oddities reign supreme, there’s one name that stands firm as a resilient pillar against the forces of change. Step forward Be At One; a family of popular cocktail bars known as much for their habitually happy bar staff as their colossal range of cocktails. We dropped in to their Russell Street basement bar to sample some of these renowned libations for ourselves.
Located within shouting distance of Covent Garden Market, this covert drinking den could hardly be better positioned to start a lively night out. It’s a dimly-lit and charismatic space, with a sprightly after-work crowd chattering away in every corner. There’s room for a few tables, which make way for an improvised dance floor as the night wears on and the cocktail of lip-smacking beverages and infectious party tunes take full effect.
The Atmosphere and Clientele:
Any place that is proudly beaming Michael Jackson’s "PYT" out as I stride through the door certainly ticks all the boxes for me. Be At One lives up to its party-starting reputation with a miscellany of retro classics - think Dolly Parton, Earth Wind & Fire and The Four Seasons and you’re somewhere close - with the latest chart hits getting some air-time later on. The venue was packed during the aftermath of happy hour, with an eclectic crowd clinking glasses every few minutes to toast a good days work. The crowd thinned out a fraction as the night went on, as revellers presumably continued on to other nightspots in Covent Garden.
No review of Be At One Russell Street is complete without a word about the bar staff. They are genuinely enthusiastic; making every guest feel welcome and demonstrating undeniable flair and excellence in their craft. They showed themselves to be more than happy to help, if you’re not sure which cocktail to have a crack at too.
Selecting your tipple at Be At One will probably be the toughest decision you make all day. The cocktail menu is immense, filled with pretty much any blend you could think up. The zesty Moscow Mule comes recommended as a starter, the Cuban Zombie packs one hell of a potent punch and the, eh hem, Screaming Orgasm, is a deliciously sweet cocktail to wrap things up. Each is craftily made by the aforementioned bar team who add a few party-tricks into the barter while they’re at it.
Anybody who balks at this cocktail bar chain in favour of another Covent Garden joint is doing themselves a disservice. There’s a concoction for every day of the year at Be At One, the mixologists introduce a charming flair to proceedings and you can’t help but have a little jig on the dance floor (even with your last train departure time alarmingly close by). Perfect for kicking off a big night on the town.