The Old School Yard is a retro cocktail bar just a short walking distance from Southwark Station that salutes the fun and good times of the old skool.
It is very clear that The Old School Yard take their theme very seriously. The exterior and venue name’s typography features bright red, yellow and blue – synonymous with the retro-junk themes of the 80s. The interior is adorned with 80’s memorabilia - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines, Pac Man arcade games, a Nintendo 64, and even a school subject inspired drinks menu. There is a spacious dance floor for you to bust your retro shapes, tables with comfy sofas are available for larger groups, and there is some outdoor seating for alfresco dining or drinks.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
The old skool doesn’t evoke images of quiet nights in; The Old School Yard doesn’t let the side down with a lively and vibrant atmosphere – to the backdrop of some quality classic old skool tunes. Newcomers are filled with the excitement of glimpses of the past and the regulars are fully immersed in great cocktails or epic battles on Mario Kart 64. There is also a private karaoke room, perfect for parties and private events. The clientele are mainly 25-30 year olds and although we arrived relatively early in the night, the same people were there towards the end – it seemed leaving was not an option for a lot of people. Good times all around.
The Food and Drinks
The Old School Yard must have some of the best value for money cocktails of anywhere I’ve been in London. The most you will pay for a cocktail is for the Xtreme Martini (£8.50) – aside from this, they ranged between £5.50 and £7. A few cocktails that were particularly good include the ‘Man on Fire’, ‘Robin and Marian’ and ‘Sweet Manhattan’. The bar team certainly knew their stuff; all of the cocktails were either spot on classics or incredible unique creations (and with Happy Hour prices at £4.50 for a cocktail you’d be silly not to give it a go). At the helm sits Darren Sum – an award winning cocktail bartender and owner of The Old School Yard – whose accolades and impressive cocktail history are evident in the quality and inventiveness of the menu. The food on offer includes platters, burgers and pizza, which all provide a great accompaniment to the cocktail list.
The Old School Yard is a great night out – there are some fantastic cocktails on offer at really reasonable prices, the entertainment is nostalgic, the music gets you in the mood and the food was great. Highly recommended.