McQueen in Shoreditch is a relative newcomer to the Shoreditch bar and club scene. Opened just a year ago as a sleek cocktail bar and boutique club, McQueen has quickly established itself as a popular and high-quality venue. Now they have added another string to their bow and opened a restaurant. So if you are looking for a great Shoreditch cocktail bar or a top Shoreditch club or even a high quality Shoreditch restaurant, McQueen technically should be your destination of choice; I decided to check it out and test run it as a bar where you can eat, drink and dance.
So why is the bar called McQueen? As you probably may have guessed, they have modeled the design and attitude to that of legendary American actor, Steve McQueen. He was nicknamed "The King of Cool" and was everything a cool man should be! As you walk into McQueen, the bar opens up in front of you with the drinks bar flanking the left and the rest of the space dedicated to sleek, beautiful and masculine brown and black chairs and couches. You can definitely tell that every little design feature has been meticulously thought about and chosen. The exposed brick-work also gives the bar a really cool, urban feel.
McQueen Bar & Restaurant - Cocktail Lounge Area
After work (about 6-7pm) there was already a good buzz in the bar with local young professionals enjoying the drinks deals on offer until 7pm. The DJ was playing some great background funk/house. The cocktail list is pretty expansive with some McQueen created specials: I indulged in a Love with a Proper Stranger - Woodford Reserve bourbon, gently shaken with fresh lemon, orange, pineapple and home-made raspberry syrup (£9.50 when not on happy hour), which I have to say had the perfect blend of alcohol and fruit tastes to take the edge off. I also had a simple sounding Clover Club (£7.50 when not on happy hour) - Beefeater gin, lemon juice and sugar shaken hard with raspberries. As hoped, it was fresh, clean and went down an absolute treat!
Having wet my whistle, it was time to deal with the rumbling in my stomach. The McQueen restaurant is in a separate room from the main bar and really feels like a restaurant in its own right; it even has its own street entrance. Similar to the bar, the restaurant is very "McQueen" with brown leather chesterfields, padded walls and brown wood panelling; a cocoon of cool. There is even a plasma on the wall playing McQueen movies. The menu is based on an American grill restaurant but with a sophisticated edge. The service was warm, friendly and very attentive. The menu features starters such as seared scallops, beef Carpaccio and creole spiced grilled prawns (£4.50-£9.50). For mains, enjoy wonderful cuts of steaks, lobster or wild Sea Bass (£14-£31). The desert options keep it American with such delicacies as Pecan pie and New York cheese cake (£6). I had a Maryland crab cakes to start that were fresh, tasty and had a delicious lemon mayonnaise. My main of Sirloin and parmesan mash was simply divine - cooked to perfection and melt in the mouth meat that wouldn't be out of place in a Michelin stared restaurant...and if you love cheese cake, save room for it! The ambience, food and affordable wine list really impressed me. It's easy to forget their is a busy cocktail bar next door and club downstairs. This new restaurant is definitely a cracking restaurant in its own right and one of the best meals I have eaten in Shoreditch for a long long time.
McQueen Restaurant & Bar - Restaurant Area
Luckily for me, the night hadn't ended there as I managed to pick myself up off the Chesterfield sofa and finish the night off in the boutique club downstairs. As expected, the look is dark, leather and masculine with an overwhelming element of stylish cool to it. Not surprisingly, McQueen often host some big name DJs and in the intimate setting of this boutique club, you really feel like a VIP. It is small but if you need a break from the dancing crowd, don't forget you can head upstairs for a breather and a cocktail!
I have it on good authority that McQueen's mid-week nights up in the bar, including acoustic performances on Wednesday and their signature night on Thursday, Secret Rendevous, that includes top notch burlesque performers and world-reknown performers and pole dancers - are nights not to be missed for some mid-week titillation! Do try and arrive to the bar before 9pm and you will avoid the £10 entry fee and will be able to take advantage of the drinks deals.
McQueen Restaurant & Bar - Boutique Club Area
So my initial mission was to see if McQueen could be the all-in-one great night out in Shoreditch and without a doubt, you can do everything you want to at McQueen: The ambience is extremely stylish with a great vibe, the restaurant is definitely worth trying and one of the best meals I've had in London this year and the club is everything you'd want from a small, boutique space. You need a large stomach and great stamina to try everything McQueen has to offer on one night, but if you think you can handle it, I definitely recommend you book yourself in for a whole night at McQueen - one of the best bars Shoreditch has to offer.