Well decorated, with a good selection of drinks, The Haggerston pub on Kingsland Road is a pre-party favourite with oodles of character. I used to live just around the corner, but took myself down for a nostalgic night of drinking and dancing to test the credentials of this little number in East London.
Formerly known as Uncle Sam’s, The Haggerston burst onto the Dalston scene in 2008 and ever since has been a popular choice with Dalstonites and East London aficionados all throughout the week. Laden with wooden tables, big windows and a sizable drinks offering on display, the whole place is fairly intimately laid out. I went down on a Friday evening, around 9pm, and the bar was already pretty busy; so no chance of sitting at one of the said tables or booths. Monday to Wednesday are ideal for catch up drinks, quick bites and rainy day retreats, whereas Thursday night to Sunday are pretty much all about the party.
Ambience and Clientele
Though naturally the bar attracts and trendy crowd, the vibe isn’t pretentious. Which is handy, as when it gets busy you’ll be getting to know your fellow revellers pretty well in the ever growing toilet queue. Fun, raucous and unashamedly cool, there’s a lot of dancing, singing and making friends going down at a busy Haggerston night, so be sure to wear your best smile! There’s no getting away from the fact that the weekends draw a hustly-bustly crowd, but that’s what makes this bar pretty damn fun, if you can take the crowds that is. If you want to witness a more tranquil Haggerston, head on over on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night; it genuinely feels like a totally different bar.
During my visit I witnessed the Haggerston music policy at its best; which is quite simply, no holds barred fun time party tune after tune. Don’t expect anything too heavy, but do expect everyone to be on their feet dancing. If you’re a smoker you’ll have the pleasure of squeezing through the dancefloor to get to the bar’s smoking area; so make sure you’ve got your best dance-walk down if you’re lighting up. From 60's classics to current tunes, indie bangers to electro beats, the music is varied but always lively.
Fun as ever, I was glad to see the Haggerston still has the same charm it did four years ago. A little busy sure, but not in a stressful way. Though I didn’t try out the food, I've heard good things; so if you fancy popping in without facing the crowds head over throughout the week. Otherwise, I guess I’ll see you in the queue...